Awaking in New York

By Maya Angelou b. 1928 Maya Angelou
Curtains forcing their will   
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with   
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on   
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a   
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,   
unasked and unheeded.

Maya Angelou, “Awaking in New York” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)

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Poet Maya Angelou b. 1928

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

 Maya  Angelou

Biography

An acclaimed American poet and autobiographer, Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou has had a varied career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood's first female black director, but is most famous as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet. As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She has also been an educator and is . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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