Poetry competition CLOSED 28th February 2019 4:12pm
ImperfectedStone (The Gardener)
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RUNNERS-UP: PoetsRevenge and Heaven_sent_Kathy

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Why the Caged Bird Sings

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Maya Angelou

Co-Host - JohnnyBlaze ( also the amazing artist who rendered Angelou's portrait )

Part IX in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets, both classical and modern.

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received more than 50 honorary degrees.

In addition to honorary degrees, her awards include:

Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie

Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play Look Away,

Three Grammys for her spoken word albums.

Two presidential committees

Spingarn Medal  - 1994

National Medal of Arts - 2000,

Presidential Medal of Freedom - 2011


Write a new poem honoring Angelou from any of her published poetry.  We feel listing poems may be constricting, and want you to follow the inspiration wherever it leads.

The Rules

1.  One entry per DUP persona.  

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW.  

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.  

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).  

5. Hashtag your poem #MayaAngelou and link to your poem here. Do NOT copy paste your poem to the competition. The point is to eventually direct visitors searching for Angelou to your poem via the hashtag we hope will eventually be implemented by the Webmiss.  

Comp will be judged by a panel including myself.  You have one month; best of luck to all entrants.      

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 9th Nov 2015
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Until I Find You Waiting

Tell me all the places I can find
The dappled shadows of you
That show me everywhere the sun goes
Where your warmth is while I live.

I know there will be other moments
In dreams where I’m wide awake
And yet only exist in dreamscapes,
Because that is where we’ve lived.

The river’s yearn and pull to the gulf,
Our currents, when strength is spent,
All conjoined in a vortex of mirth
Felt so clearly from my mouth.

That will assure us without pledges,
Totems of your abundance,
Reading a deep night’s constellations,
Until I find you waiting.

Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5176

[ Classic Corner ] Light On Your Feet

You got game? Lets play      
I got game. Show you the way.        
It's hot out here, but not to fear---      
an ice cream truck may soon be here      
Don't stop your hopping now      
or you'll be droppin. How?      
In your ass - POW POW!      
Caps be a'poppin        
So skip rope left n right turn on a dime        
Don't touch any dope --- that shit's a crime      
Keep on moving if you want to be just fine      
and we'll all be home safely by dinnertime    

Written by JohnnyBlaze
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Non-entry entry

Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 17th Feb 2018
Forum Posts: 75


Fox News turns
clock irrelevant  
as night and day
meld into fear.  
If no surprises from the  
current King’s reign  
nor no left-leaning bastion unseated,  
certainly then we should expect  
to see more poor immigrants,  
to read faces of rapists  
in those of the desperate.  
Why must they be so  
What could they be after?  
My comfortable home  
shutters in around me.  
The land upon which it sits  
moans in ancient tongues  
of those long before.  
Why do Brown people still  
come? Who will  
surrender their shutters    
and cede them  
one more morning?

Written by Rachelleundrgrd
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Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 220

[ Classic Corner ] Rise To The Occasion

don't you let them    
get you down  
Strut the pavement    
like you own the damn town  
They'll howl like wolves  
lunge, snarl, scowl and frown  
when you refuse to be their dinner  
Show them you're a winner  
let them talk to the hand!  
as you walk right on by  
ignoring every command  
demanding you get in back    
of the line or bus  
you're black    
and you're too damn fine    
to give up yet    
on us  
You made it this far;    
the sky's the limit  
but out there is a star  
waiting for your name  
All you have to do  
is still rise to the occasion  
everyday by bringing it---  
the game God gave you  

Written by MaryWalker
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Non entry

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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The Lesson ( after Maya Angelou )

I was conceived by a bloodline
  of warriors:  Jew and Cherokee;    
I'm certain if we draw deep      
  there is also African American      
Thus, "abandon" is not a word      
existing in my ancestry—    
  neither does "quit"    
    though definition appears equal    
Maybe they are, technically      
  according to the dictionary—    
but, one slices more personally    
  as part of our humanity    
I am no quitter despite suffering    
  having swallowed the streets;      
I never stopped believing      
   'One day' I would have it:    
'One day' it would arrive—      
  a flagship bearing proof    
the treasure in its cargo hold    
  for those who refused to let go:    
the abandoned, hurt, destitute      
faithfully waiting upon the dock    
   with not one guarantee      
   anything would ever make port    
But, there you have it . . .    
  laden with truth, relief, and reward    
for those who didn't desert hope;    
  who refused to walk—  to quit    
  not on some lost dream, or lover      
  they could no longer stomach—      
nor a cruel plantation owner    
beating bloody the helpless . . .      
those who walked not by sight    
  entrenched knee-deep in mud    
toward a lost covenant of Love    
  finally having learnt      
the only thing needed to survive    
circumstance is belief—      
   whether in this world or the next    
   despite how hard it's kicked;      
Because freedom is never in vain;    
   it will rise up, and up again      
#Maya Angelou
Written by Ahavati
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Thought Provoker
United States
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Forum Posts: 177


You needn’t care of what I seek,  
My father taught me, he was wise:  
“No matter how you look and speak,  
Become the sun each day you rise.”
Do I annoy you by my spunk,
The way I handle every slight?  
Why do you fill your head with junk?  
As President? Well I just might.
My faith is day, my passion night,
But you don’t know me, you despise  
How much I love, with whom I cite,  
And wonder next time when I’ll rise.  
You hate me for my looks & strength,  
Of different hair & skin & nose.  
You think about my life, it’s length.
All the above, our Maker chose.  
Don’t think about my happiness,  
I feel I’ve won the lottery.  
Without a dime, in God I’m blessed,  
My plate is full, His gifts to me.  
I am a Mardi Gras delight,  
Confetti floating from the skies.  
The crowd will dance with me all night,  
And like balloons in air, I’ll rise.  
Do I hear gunshots, go to jail,  
Is that the life you think I lead?  
With all the wisdom as my bail,  
I will remind that slaves were freed.
The ghettos and the jungles show  
It’s of diversity we’ve come.  
You plant us anywhere, we’ll grow,  
We won’t go back where we came from.  
You lie awake, of me you shake,  
I’ve got the gist of your surmise.  
What do I cook as biscuits bake?  
It won’t be long now ‘till I rise.
Written by Heaven_sent_Kathy
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The Gardener
Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom
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Joined 10th Oct 2010
Forum Posts: 1344

Upon stolen sand

When you come, I'll bathe you  
in the holy water of a lionness  
stalking in the blackness  
of a harsh, slumbering Sun.  

As you come upon your prized pyre,
offering the embers of oldest fires,
burning the paws of my beast brutally,  
singing retellings under our shared Moon, I growl and hiss and spit at you.  

In this wasteland, where we roar our truths from mountaintop,  
for the ones before and the ones to come, and the ones that never were,
I weep.  
Written by ImperfectedStone (The Gardener)
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 460

Still I Rise (Still The Pen Glides)

When I wake in the morning,
ain’t never surprised,
I got no time for cryin’  
so still the pen glides.  
How, they would wonder  
could I ever have arrived  
when grief falls around me  
as dust on their winds of doubt rise?  
That I could have much of anything to say  
in wake of all I’ve survived,  
that I would have not become a slave    
to all my years for which dashed hopes  
I only strived?  
I lift a pen, I lift my voice    
and so amplify words,   
into a megaphone did I shout until
I was, by so many, heard.  
The lofty dream was always there,  
a little diamond in my heart,  
that I would rise from all despair-  
Riches from tattered rags of a journey  
I could share  
in words that still rise,  
and still the pen glides.  
#Maya Angelou
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5176


The vote is on for our next Classic Corner comps!


Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 614

Investments #Maya Angelou

Can we guess how hard that road to tread
to where the seeds of inspiration lead
the cramp before you spread your wings
the stones they threw of words that sting
The civil rights of Black and White
Wikipedia  I read between the lines
a resume that few can match
of sparks that flew to ring the change in time
From modesty the caged bird fledge  
but not to fly but to sing instead
challenge them and shake the world
born again not once but three or four
Cap and gown tread the halls renowned  
the doctorates that Universities provide
the investment that a small town girl made
paid dividends for all of us to share
Written by slipalong
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 22nd Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 696

Still I Rise (After Maya Angelou)

My queen, your whole body has been draped in diamonds
Because you are like the main prize and a jewel. Men and
Women alike are worshiping the ground you are walking
On because you are drawing attention, not for the money
You have or for fame you want or because you are a lion
At the head of the pack, but because you will always stand
On a solid footing with a permanent smile. You are talking
As if you are made from the essentials of gold and honey.

You do not need anyone telling you that you have power
Within you to stand up to the rest of this world who is
Telling you that your body is too imperfect with a spirit
That is too wild or untamable and with eyes that are too
Wide open. Darling, you will always pray for your flower
To bloom away from all the sidewalk cracks and from his
Smudged fingertips that once gripped your neck to limit
Your voice. He cannot take your newfound hope or blue

Sky streaked with warm sunlight during the day and stars
Filling your mind with dreams for a new tomorrow. When
When you look in the mirror you do not see his imprint or
Their shadows that try to make you feel like nothing. They
Do not know that you have emerged from written memoirs
Of your ancestors with their spilt blood, but you once again
Have already begun writing with your blood and hand your
Own stories. That is why you are here. You are here to stay

And etched into history. They may try to shoot you down
With their words, but you still rise and wear the crown.

Written by eswaller
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 10656

Greetings, honored Classic participants.  The above poll for March has been closed in order to have time to prep the portraits.  

Below is the new poll for April.  This will close March 15 ( so beware the Ides of March and vote before then ).  We are conducting this early in order to prepare DUP's NaPoWriMo Team and Comp. Thank you.


Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 3rd Feb 2014
Forum Posts: 1873


When we two become one
Like the Father and the Son
Fused by passion’s embrace
I’m carried to a heavenly place
Of complete bliss and exhilaration
“Sweet Jesus,” I cry out in exaltation
Captured within this rapture
I discover that paradise is for lovers
And in a divine God I do believe
For he sent an angel to earth
To make sweet love to me
Written by snugglebuck
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Painting by Bouguereau "L'Amour Vainqueur - Victorious Love" 1886.

Strange Creature
United States
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Joined 26th Jan 2019
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Prison Song

the bars are not set firm
although they are of fired steel
risin and fallin, infirm
expandin and contractin
like actions reactin
like Gods breath of life
moving in time with rib cage

there is no time like prison time
where the few freedoms by the man granted
are bleached away with a single flush
a disinfected pine smelling gush
the mark of a man tattooed
man forced on man like bitches
rules apply snitches get stitches
shanks approved

the singin stoollie's song
is not prevented by bars
but accumulates razor scars
no one sings along
with this rapper from the crapper
silenced sweetly
when death come callin

I will sing a song of freedom
tis music to my own ears
caged or uncaged
for sure it falls on deaf ears
stony, is the path I walk on
imprisoned or not
for a gangsta killing spree
I will never be free

my constant desire to sing
does not depend on anything
the cage is what we surround us in
its all in the mind
I hits the rewind
on cruelly clipped wings
this caged bird still sings
still no freedom it brings

Written by blinkers55
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