Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. She is an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her autobiographical books: All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986), The Heart of a Woman (1981), Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976), Gather Together in My Name (1974), and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Among her volumes of poetry are A Brave and Startling Truth (Random House, 1995), The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994), Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993), Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987), I Shall Not Be Moved (1990), Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? (1983), Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975), and Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie (1971), which was nominated for the Pulitzer prize.

In 1959, at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1961 to 1962 she was associate editor of The Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East, and from 1964 to 1966 she was feature editor of the African Review in Accra, Ghana. She returned to the U.S. in 1974 and was appointed by Gerald Ford to the Bicentennial Commission and later by Jimmy Carter to the Commission for International Woman of the Year. She accepted a lifetime appointment in 1981 as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1993, Angelou wrote and delivered a poem, “On The Pulse of the Morning,” at the inauguration for President Bill Clinton at his request.

The first black woman director in Hollywood, Angelou has written, produced, directed, and starred in productions for stage, film, and television. In 1971, she wrote the original screenplay and musical score for the film Georgia, Georgia, and was both author and executive producer of a five-part television miniseries “Three Way Choice.” She has also written and produced several prize-winning documentaries, including “Afro-Americans in the Arts,” a PBS special for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. Maya Angelou was twice nominated for a Tony award for acting: once for her Broadway debut in Look Away (1973), and again for her performance in Roots (1977).

Maya Angelou passed away in 2014.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Maya Angelou's poem Woman Work


  1. aamir mahmood awan says:

    it goes without saying that woman work is a best piece of art.

  2. Mohammad Amin Babar says:

    The most simple chores of domestic women have been beautified in such a way that the word picture becomes an exquisite piece of art.Maya resorts to nature, the only power that, she believes, can free a person imprisoned in the drab and dreary life of monotonous routine work.She emphatically calls nature to rescue her from her tiresome job. She knows the fact that it is nature that she can call her own.Maya developes a relationship with nature to cool her down and sooth her tired body.

  3. Aleena Saif says:

    her life. It is a poem that affects our imagination and goes on haunting our thoughts. She feels completely exhausted and wants to be rescued by nature. She wants to feel lost in the wonders of nature. She says that women are uncomplaining and dutiful individuals. The fact of the matter is that they perform such works to make the lives of their dear ones comfortable, enjoyable, and less burdensome.

  4. tanweer says:

    very beautiful poem. Ilike it very much as it talks about the power of women

  5. matthias says:

    Where do you think this poem is set?

    Pls awnser me

  6. mubashar ayub says:

    plz send me main idea of this poem

  7. kanwal says:

    please send me explanation of this poem and main idea of this poem

  8. anam iftikhar says:

    i like this poem very much. beacuse its all about women power. the way she face all the duities of her family.she doen very good job.everybody will aprecate to women work in country like pakistan.

  9. aamir mahmood awan says:

    in this poem,the poetess has delineated the routine work of a woman very skillfully.there is a universality in the poem.every woman finds the feelings of Maya that of their cannot help appreciating the poem simple and deep rooted lesson.a human always seeks asylum in the lap of nature to pacify himself/herself.

  10. Azca rObert says:

    awesome poem wow

  11. adnan says:

    Maya Angelou is that kind of poet .that u can not compare any other.Her description of on woman life is very impressive.When i read this poem (woman work)i feel the individually life of a woman .Madam Maya Angelou express the problem of the lack of time any kind of hose lady in very simple and vast meanings words.I like it to much .From Ch adnan taqi Pakistan

  12. Barirah says:

    Focussing on women’s role as mother and wife, Maya superbly highlights the burden of duties under which women are suppressed. Like an ox, working from dawn till dusk she has to follow a fix schedule having no time to enjoy. Having no identity of her own, she is not an individual but only a mother or wife. Since there is no one around that can save her from the drudgery in which she is surrounded she invokes nature, the ultimate saviour of oppressed, to come and save her so that she can REST!

  13. LIZZIE says:

    This poem is amazing because of the fact she has so much power and
    determindation, it brillant to see a women like Maya Angelou writing a poem
    like this! It’s also singficant that in the first stanza its all breathe
    taking because its like a list but after the first stanza she seems to be
    more relaxed and the thng what keeps her moving is nature itself because
    she doesnt own anything in this poem and i find this truely amazing that
    she has and also will be the greatest poets! By the way, im only 15 so if
    i’ve undersood anything wrong please let me know. But i love Maya’s poem
    and im sure many more people agree!
    I was at work & got tired of just thinking of all that has to be done when
    I get home. I decided to google you & I have to say your poem has
    brightened my day! My kids are awesome & I really don’t mind doing anything
    for them but your poem made me smile at all that we actually do in a day.
    Once again Ms. Maya you have lifted a woman’s spririts. May God Bless You &
    Heaven Smile Upon You.

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