Maya Angelou's words absolutely captivate me throughout the series. Each poem opens a new door but reliterate the themes of oppression, struggle, freedom, and so much more. Two particular favorite short poems are The Lesson and Contemporary Announcement.
Maya Angelou's continuous effort to live life through music, through dance, through writing reflects in The Lesson. Even though the poem seems rather morbid through the description of "rotting flesh and worms" "old tombs", "veins collapse", in the end it emphasizes the importance of living life and enjoying life until the last breath. So the lesson to be learned from "The Lesson" is to love life and live life.
Maya Angelou's past reflects in most of her poems. In "Contemporary Announcement", she portrayed the harshness of living from day to day in the ghettos. The protagonist lives from day to day, from paycheck to paycheck, in its sadness and happiness. When the character has money, the family join together in happiness with "cook the cow" and "ring the big bells". And when there is no money, the family must live in darkness and in fear, that they must "hold your breath" and "take my heart in your hand." Overall, the poem portrays the harshness of the working class which experienced by 80% of Americans.