She performed her most recent occassional poem "Amazing Peace" at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. In this studio recording, the poet's voice ¿ its dark timbre ¿ has a calming effect, as it speaks of faith challenged by adversity.
"On the Pulse of Morning", written for the inauguration of president Bill Clinton, explores the interconnectedness of all life. The poem features a memorable sequence in which human beings of contrasting nationalities, faiths, and races are mentioned back to back and at length to create a sense of strength through diversity and unity.
Angelou's sassier, activist side is also represented in a few poems, lending a wonderful sense of balance to this listen as a whole. If you admire Angelou, or are interested in the ideal introduction to this gifted writer, start here.
"Amazing Peace" is a beautiful and deeply moving poem from Maya Angelou. Here she inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. "Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward," she writes, "and speak the word aloud. Peace."
"Amazing Peace" is Maya Angelou's radiant affirmation of the goodness of life and is a touching celebration of the "Glad Season" that will resonate with people of all faiths.
Also included in this program is her Grammy Award-winning reading of "On the Pulse of Morning", the poem that she created for the inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton in January 1993. Nearly 13 years later this poem remains just as profound a listening experience.
Additionally, the program includes the four poems that make up Phenomenal Woman. The poems are among the most acclaimed of Maya Angelou's body of work. They celebrate women with a majesty that has inspired and touched the hearts of millions. Together with "Amazing Peace" and "On the Pulse of Morning", this is a beautiful and unique collection of Maya Angelou's writing read aloud in her distinctive and sonorous voice.
Maya Angelou, poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director, was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then moved to San Francisco. In addition to her best-selling biographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she has also written a memoir with recipes, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table; five poetry collections, including I Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?; and many other celebrated poems.
"Amazing Peace" ©2005 Maya Angelou; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.
"On the Pulse of the Morning" ©1993 Maya Angelou; (P)1993 Random House Inc.
Phenomenal Woman ©1971, 1978, 1983, 1990, 1994 Maya Angelou; (P)1995 Random House Inc.
For years I have read and heard several renditions of Dr. Angelou's poem and autobiographical works. Her writing has an incredible way of inhabiting the souls of reader, audience and artist alike. Her work is distinctly cultural and at the same time universally embracing.
This Audible selection is an example of how content delivered in digitized sound can actually give an authentic voice to the artist and the voice that takes up residence in the artist. When I played this entire selection I felt as if I had a private audience with Dr. Angelou. The sung robustness of her musical references in "Pulse of the Morning", the girly glee in her 7 women poem and her sensitive, yet unapologetic, teasing directed at male listeners easily revealed the range of her artistry and wisdom. What a treat!
I intend to include this work as part of a professional series for adults working in children in out-of-school time settings. It is lush with musical, literary, dramatic and cultural gems that can enrich creativity in young people and those who work with them.
Simply beautiful. I can't wait to play it again! C. Travis
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