The Mothering Blackness

By Maya Angelou b. 1928 Maya Angelou
She came home running
       back to the mothering blackness   
       deep in the smothering blackness
white tears icicle gold plains of her face   
       She came home running

She came down creeping
       here to the black arms waiting
       now to the warm heart waiting
rime of alien dreams befrosts her rich brown face   
       She came down creeping

She came home blameless
       black yet as Hagar’s daughter
       tall as was Sheba’s daughter
threats of northern winds die on the desert’s face   
       She came home blameless

Maya Angelou, “The Mothering Blackness” from Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Before I Die. Copyright © 1971 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

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Poet Maya Angelou b. 1928

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Parenthood

Holidays Mother's Day

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 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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SUBJECT Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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