Poetry Commentary: "Prescience" by Maya Angelou.

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“Prescience” by Maya Angelou

        Maya Angelou is an American author, poet, playwright, editor, director, actress, and teacher. She is internationally recognized, and has written best-selling titles such as “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, “Gather Together in My Name”, “Singin' and Swingin' and Getting Merry Like Christmas”, and “The Heart of a Woman”. Maya Angelou is born on April 4th, 1928 and raised in St. Louis, Mo. One of her poems, not too famous, is called “Prescience”, and it is also the poem that I will depict throughout this commentary. When I first read the title, “Prescience”, I, not knowing any better, thought the poem was in regard to the time before technology. I did not realize, until later, that my definition was nowhere near what Maya Angelou intended for it to be. The poem focused on love, which was its main theme as well. Not the feeling when one is in love, but when one is hurt through love; in other words, heartbroken. The poem depicts why the victim shouldn’t have fallen in love in the first place; the victim being the speaker. However, I found this out only after I was given the poem of “Prescience”.

When you are given a poem, a powerful rush of confusion and adrenaline starts to swirl around your head as you stare at the several meaningless words that you know you have to try to understand. This is what happened to me, as I panicked about writing regarding something I had no clue about. Once I had scanned through the poem numerous times, I decided to get started on my analyzing. When I began to study the first verse of “Prescience”, the first three words, “Had I known” already began to give the poem some character. I realized it brought instant mystery to the reader and started to draw at least a little attention. As I read on through stanza one, I started to see what the poem meant. I found that from lines 2-4, the poem portrays that many aspects of misery unfold when one is depressed or has a broken heart, “breaks slowly, dismantling itself/ into unrecognizable plots of/ misery,”. The lines also show that as time passes during a broken heart, one gets deeper and deeper into unhappiness; many issues develop. E.g. starting with pain and eventually transitioning into loneliness. Some of the feelings that one would feel are even indescribable and the words for these feelings are unknown. I believe that this is where “unrecognizable plots of/ misery,” comes in. The comma at the end of the word misery shows that the sentence, line or concept is unfinished and that the phrase drifts off, adding a sense of ambiguity.

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Although Stanza Two is only a couple of words longer, it emanates much more depth and figuration in its inexplicit passage. As I seeped into the beginning of this verse, I noticed that it began with “Had I known” as well. I made a note of this and continued to study through the lines. I depict, that in the phrase “the heart would leak/ slobbering its sap, with a vulgar/ visibility,” (lines 1-3), the poem states that the heart shows its pain, lets out some of all the emotion that’s trapped inside. The vulgar visibility is that people (“dressed-up dining-rooms of ...

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