Maya Angelou: Racial Prejudice In Poetry

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Poetry allows some of the most influential people in literature history to express powerful observations about society and their experiences. Maya Angelou has written some of the most inspiring poems based around her life, often acknowledged as one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century. Born in St Louis, Missouri on April 28th, 1928, Angelou has experienced the full force of racial prejudice in The United States. To express her experiences and beliefs from the prejudice, she started to write poetry. Poems such as 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ' and 'Still I Rise ' both have similar themes and messages that reflect Angelou 's personal endeavours and experiences. 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ' has often been referred to as one…show more content…
Angelou uses these poetic devices to emphasise her message to readers. The poem 'Still I Rise ' utilises poetic devices to communicate the message of how her oppressors will not prevent her moving forward. Stanza eight of the poem uses personification to convey her message to readers. The line 'Out of the huts of history 's shame ' uses personification. Angelou personifies history by giving it the human emotion of shame. Personification can allow the poet to help readers relate and understand the ideas expressed in the poem. Angelou also uses similes throughout each stanza. As seen in lines such as 'Still like Air, I 'll rise ' and 'But still, like dust, I 'll rise ' Angelou uses similes to compare herself to air and dust. The use of similes allows the reader to link an idea they are familiar thus allowing them to relate to the poem. Juxtaposition is used in 'I Know why the Caged Bird Sings '. Angelou juxtaposes the caged bird against the free bird throughout the poem. Juxtaposition allows the reader to understand the differences between the two birds thus allowing them to distinguish the differences the people who are free from oppression and the people who are
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