Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)


Maya Angelou: A Phenomenal Woman?


Me thinks much ink
has been spilt
over the poem;
‘Phenomenal Woman’
by Maya Angelou.

Me thinks it is time
I stuck my oar in
had my say;
hopefully in a far
less controversial way.

So I ask all these supposedly
expert men who
read read read her poem;
then see red red red
who is Maya Angelou?

A Phenomenal Woman?

And to a man these reds do not know?

Do they also not know
that it is personal choice;
which poems poets writers we like?
All have differing tastes
all are entitled to their opinion!

Have they never heard
Maya Angelou recite one of her poems?
It brings a smile to my lips my eyes.
I receive Maya’s performance with pride?
It seems no one nobody does it better?

So again I ask do you know?
Who is Maya Angelou?
A Phenomenal Woman?

Wow what odds would you give
on Maya Angelou, a young
African-American girl
ever achieving?
Phenomenal success?

Maya Angelou had her baby
at age sixteen?
She left home at age sixteen
as a single mother?
This is a very hard road in which seeds
of success could never be sown?

At age three and a half
Maya’s parents divorced.
Her dad sent her to Stamps
Arkansas, to live with
her paternal grandmother.
Four years later, her dad
sent her to San Francisco,
to live with her mother.

Marguerite Annie Johnson
experienced legally enforced
racial discrimination.
As a way of life as a young girl
in the American South.
What odds now on ever achieving
phenomenal success?

What happened to Maya
at age seven eight;
God forbid I will not mention.
When Maya heard
her mother’s boyfriend;
had been killed by an uncle.
Maya felt “her words
had killed the man” and Maya;
fell into a world silent.
Maya “did not speak for five years”
until age thirteen;
reunited with her mother.

Did trauma cause mute Maya
“to go mute for five years? ”
Maya recalled, “I thought if I spoke,
my mouth would just issue out
something that would kill people,
randomly, so it was better not to talk.”

I shall not recite in detail
the story of Maya Angelou’s life.
Best you read it for yourself!

Therefore a brief synopsis;
age sixteen supporting herself her son
working as a waitress cook;
already given up talents for music,
dance, performance and poetry.

Then rebirth as phoenix a phenomenal life!
Time you look her Maya read all about it!
It reads like a suspense novel visual screenplay!
This is phenomenal women exceptional lady!
I shall never know Malcolm X; Dr. Martin Luther King!

So who is this phenomenal African-American women?
“Heralded as a great voice of contemporary literature”!
Maya actress, author, civil rights activist, director, educator,
magazine editor, playwright, poet, producer, singer, song writer...
“three Grammy Awards for her spoken word albums”

Maya Angelou has been awarded over forty honorary degrees!

Other honors include the Women in Film Crystal Award (1992)
Humanitarian Contribution Award (1997)
Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in (1998)
Among Writer's Digest's “Top 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century” (1999)
Presidential Medal of Arts (2000) , John Hope Franklin Award (2006) , Mother Teresa Award (2006) and the Lincoln Medal (2008) .
International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in (2008)
are but a few of Maya’s honours Maya’s many accolades.

Therefore in genuine sincere respect
I bow the head bend the knee.
And to these critic men these reds
I have but one thing to decree.
What God has seen fit to raise up
let no man attempt to tear down in stupidity.


Copyright © Terence George Craddock

Submitted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Edited: Thursday, September 15, 2011

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