An analysis of the Maya Angelou poem “To a person”

‘To a man’ is written by Maya Angelou, whose first novel was an autobiography of her diversified life, (activist, singer, waitress, dancer and so forth.) known as ‘I know why the caged fowl sings’. She has written two collections of prose, ‘Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now’ and ‘Even the celebs look lonesome’. Angelou has written several well-known poems, together with ‘Still I rise’ and ‘On the heartbeat of the morning’ for the inaugeration of President Clinton. Maya Angelou now has a lifetime appointment as Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina.

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The poem is concerning the man that Maya Angelou loves, and he or she makes use of a wide selection of metaphors and pictures to describe him to the reader. Maya Angelou has a really decisive fashion of writing and uses a lot of modal verbs such as ‘is’ to convey her message to the reader. She writes poems to entertain folks, and to be learn aloud. I think this one is a type of poems because she uses full stops and capital letters to show when pauses should be given and which phrases want explicit emphasis.

This poem is critical, and thought frightening, and she or he makes use of unusual imagery to match her man to. I like the type she uses to provide which means to her words, and the way she uses punctuation and enjambement collectively which provides an interesting impact. The mood is type of joyful, as she describes her man, who makes her feel heat and laughs by way of his personal troubles.

The poem does not observe typical structure, or use syllabic sentencing on every line.

The strains don’t rhyme, and it is like Angelou has just written down her thoughts, without purposefully making them into a bit of poetry. The poem is twenty two lines lengthy, and places important ideas concerning the man on their own , or on a separate line to level out the reader how necessary this side of the person is. ‘To a man’ is written from Maya Angelou’s own experience, and was about her first husband. It describes his character, and likens him to a giant cat. Angelou uses metaphors corresponding to ‘My man is Black Golden Amber’ to start the poem. The first line ‘My man is’ sets the scene and tells the reader that the poem is concerning the man Angelou loves. The word ‘My’, signifies possessiveness, unlike the title which is ‘to a man’, this could probably be any man. It is not sure why she writes to any man, not her own, however possibly it’s to inform them how nice her man is and that she doesn’t need anyone else. The word ‘Black’ could possibly be in reference to the skin colour of the person, or his character, which could be evil, or depressed. I think it means ‘evil’ because of the later imagery used within the poem. ‘Golden’ implies that he’s particular, and valuable as gold, as does the next word ‘Amber’ which is also a precious stone. The word ‘Amber’ offers the idea of warm colours, reds and oranges, which link in to the the rest of the poem.

The next line is just, ‘Changing’ which means her man is consistently changing from Black to Golden to Amber, his personalities change. ‘Warm mouths of Brandy Fine’ I suppose because of this kissing him is like ingesting brandy, and makes her warm which ties in with the nice and cozy amber colours used earlier. ‘Cautious daylight on a patterned rug’ means that maybe her man is cautious daylight, which links to the imagery of golden. Possibly Angelou thinks of herself as the rug, and he cautiously lights her up, and makes her warm once more. The next line signifies that the man smiles through his troubles, ‘coughing laughter’ and that he has a selected smell, of ‘French tobacco’. ‘Graceful turns on woollen stilts’ shows that her man cannot only stroll on stilts made from wool, i.e.) do the impossible but also, activate them gracefully, and make the impossibilities of life seem easy to her. The following line is solely ‘Secretive?’, Angelou is asking herself a query about the man, is he secretive?, after which solutions in the next line, ‘A cat’s eye’. I assume that this indicates that he has depths and mystery just like the cat’s eyes which swirl with hidden colours.

He isn’t secretive, just has many layers that can not be unravelled all at once. Cat’s eyes are golden and change color with the sunshine, which hyperlinks in to the idea of the man’s temperament, additionally ever altering. ‘Southern’ is in it’s personal sentence initially of the following line which could show that her man is from the South , possibly American, like Angelou herself. The next sentence says he is ‘plump and tender, with navy-bean sullenness’, navy is traditionally a really masculine color which could mean he’s a really macho man. The next line re emphasises how tender the person is, it says simply , ‘The gentleness’. The incontrovertible reality that Angelou doesn’t use a lot of phrases to describe the gentleness suggests to me how gentle he’s, she can’t use words to describe it, it’s just there, which is in direct distinction from the sullen man who likes navy blue. This again gives the impression of an ever altering persona. The next line mentions a cat again, ‘A huge cat stalks through cussed bush’. This imagery has an air of menace about it, the cat using it’s gentleness to stalk, capture and kill it’s prey, a cat is sleek, and lightweight but in addition could be deadly.

This adds an air of hazard to the person, is he as sweet as he first appears?. Angelou now asks if she mentioned amber, which links back to the start of the poem, and offers the reader the pink, gold imagery once more, and an concept of the heat Angelou feels together with her man. She likens amber to a ‘heatless fireplace, consuming itself’, which (as in other Maya Angelou) poetry provides the picture of a cycle, forever consuming itself. Possibly the heatless hearth is what she sees in her man’s eyes. The next line says ‘Again.Anew. Into ever neverlessness’ which exhibits the cycle again, and also could portray the picture of a cat’s eye and the way the colors in that change. ‘My man is Amber’, this is a repetition of the primary phrase, Angelou uses a particular metaphor to check her man to Amer. She then repeats her third line, ‘Changing’, which again exhibits the means in which his colors change like Amber. The next line is ‘Always into itself’ , which could be acting as a metaphor for his or her love, which additionally modifications but stays the identical.

This is further proven within the last lines, ‘New.Now.New’ and ‘Still itself’. The poem ends with the word ‘Still” on a line o it’s own, with a full stop, this reveals that their love remains to be, and the best way he feels for her, unlike the colours doesn’t swirl and changed and is still. I think that Maya Angelou wrote the poem to describe the way her husband made her feel, and to keep a a half of that feeling together with her, for posterity. She writes to any man to allow them to know what she has, and to convey her deep love for this specific man. Another reason for her to put in writing the poem is to try to make sense of the method in which her man acts, and the best way his moods change.

I assume that Maya Angelou wrote this to indicate the complex feelings she feels about her man, possession, tenderness, love, and warmth all of sudden. The poem’s impact on me was that it showed me the greatest way a woman felt about her man, and it helped me understand the deeper feelings of a relationship. I liked the way in which she used Amber to show how her man changed, as a result of it wasn’t in a adverse means, the Amber gave an impression of how valuable he was, but she modified her perspective with him. ‘To a man’ made me think about the photographs and metaphors used, and I loved analysing it because now, I take pleasure in it extra, understanding how Angelou felt when she wrote it.

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