Treasure Island

Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

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The Lesson


I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Children.
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: memory, children, love, sleep, child

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Comments about this poem (The Lesson by Maya Angelou )

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  • Helen Baird (1/14/2012 11:51:00 AM)

    Love this poem. It reminds me of the words in a song... You cut me open and I keep bleeding love. (Report) Reply

  • Ken E Hall (10/11/2011 11:25:00 PM)

    Age sure does weary us but your cleverness shouts out 'I love to live' so do I that's why
    I as a kid I dived into the cellars to avoid Hitler's bombs, glad he's dead....life is wonderful...kind regards (Report) Reply

  • Rose Russell (6/24/2010 10:33:00 PM)

    I love when she says I keep dying because I love to live...What that means to me is in order to enjoy the good times in life you have to know the struggle if I never knew struggle I would never appreciate peace comfort and a worry less life. So I don't mind dying because it teaches me how much I love living. -Wrong Era (Report) Reply

  • Danise Thomas (2/8/2010 6:51:00 PM)

    We born and we love life, but someday we are going to die as we were born, grew and become old, without physical strenght, with wrinkles and darkness in our eyes. Life - death - young - old - beauty and smooth - wrinkles and darkness. (Report) Reply

  • Rinki Nandy (2/5/2010 3:03:00 AM)

    'i keep dying bcoz i love to live' aren't the best thing happened after a long time! (Report) Reply

  • Seema Joglekar (8/17/2009 4:39:00 AM)

    It oozes out and starts to pour,
    These splendidly worded lines I adore,
    It gropes and wrenches the choking from within,
    And releases a breath of fresh air, bloodied, warm, I mean. (Report) Reply

  • Karen Natasha Seerattan (7/8/2009 10:24:00 AM)

    I just want to comment on one thing miss Angelou all your poems teaches me a lesson some way or the other and I love love you and I KNOW I HAVE YOU (Report) Reply

  • Marton Dezso (7/1/2009 3:14:00 AM)

    Dear Poet. I don't say nothing about
    your powerful poem. I already did,
    when 'had to' translate it into Hungarian,
    so it came to life again. Not the same
    but twins in the womb. Enjoy:

    A Lecke
    (The Lesson - Maya Angelou)

    Meghalok megint szüntelen.
    A vénák összeesnek, majd kinyílnak mint
    Alvó gyermekek kicsiny
    Öklei.
    Régi sírok képe,
    Rothadó hús és férge nem
    Tántorítnak el. Az évek
    És hideg győ z az életen
    Arcom mély redő iben.
    Elveszik szemem fényét, mégis
    Meghalok szüntelen,
    Mert élni szeretek. (Report) Reply

  • William Rodenberg (6/21/2009 5:28:00 PM)

    I enjoy the concept of self percerverience, however i believe that recollection of the emotionally unstable past serves only as a barrier to a prosperous future. (Report) Reply

  • Katie Dean (2/8/2008 8:08:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou is def. gifted........ this poem hits you right in the chest....its powerful (Report) Reply

Read all 22 comments »

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