Competition Ends 28th February 2019 4:12pm

Why the Caged Bird Sings

Tyrant of Words
United States
55awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1839

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
127awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 9th Nov 2015
Forum Posts: 4155

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)
Go To Page  

Dangerous Mind
United States
6awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 976

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 dropping. How?    
In your ass - POW POW!    
Caps be popping      
So skip rope left; right turn on a dime      
Don't touch any dope; that shit's a crime    
Keep on moving and you'll be just fine    
We'll all be home safe by dinnertime    
Written by JohnnyBlaze
Go To Page  

Non-entry entry

Thought Provoker
United States
2awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 17th Feb 2018
Forum Posts: 33


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
Go To Page  

Thought Provoker
United States
2awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 140

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
Go To Page  

Non entry

Tyrant of Words
United States
55awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1839

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
Go To Page  

Twisted Dreamer
United States
6awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 1st Nov 2017
Forum Posts: 38


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
Go To Page  

P M Banks
Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom
22awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 10th Oct 2010
Forum Posts: 989

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.
In this wasteland, where we roar our truths from mountaintop,  
for the ones before and the ones to come,  
I weep.
Written by ImperfectedStone (P M Banks)
Go To Page  

Fire of Insight
United States
4awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 47

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 to which dashed hopes  
I only strived?  
To lift a pen, I lift my voice  
to so amplify words  
into a megaphone to 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
Go To Page  

Dangerous Mind
United States
6awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 976


The vote is on for our next Classic Corner comps!

Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
4awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 140

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
Wikapeadia 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
Go To Page  

Go to: