A poem can capture the mind, soul, and the bare heart, but, how can one’s interpretation of a poem alter the true value of the poem itself? The answer to this question may vary, depending on one’s interpretation. Then again, that response can be used to answer every question this world holds. Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. As a strong African-American woman, she has experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, yet also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. Dr. Maya Angelou’s notorious aspects in her personality have formally made recognizable and has affected her true style of poetry in a positive manner, along with the literary era her poetry is from and her past life experiences and influences.
Dr. Maya Angelou embodies the characteristics of the Contemporary Era as demonstrated in her poem, “Alone,” which comprises of writings of a class distinguishable by a high standard of writing; be it beauty, composition, style or significance. “There is more to Contemporary literature than merely a time period. There are also stylistic issues and issues with personal subjectivity that cause certain classifications within and omissions from this genre to be contested” (http://www.illiterarty.com/genre-contemporary-literature). Maya Angelou although, fits the Contemporary Era perfectly, due to her ability to portray her poetry in a manner that is “written by a high standard of writing; be it beauty, composition, style or significance”. Her poem, “Alone,” exemplifies the idea that no one in this world can handle the hardships, stress, and even the joy that a life brings, without someone to be there for them. The speaker in “Alone” is a person who realizes that not even a man with all the riches in the world can be fully satisfied without the love from another.
There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
Can make it out here alone. (PoemHunter.com)
Due to the style of Maya Angelou’s writing, it is clearly visible that she has endured, and believes in the concept that she is illustrating in “Alone.” As critic Lyman B. Hagen has observed, “Angelou may rank as a poet of moderate ability, but her poetry is praised for its honesty and for a moving sense of dignity.” Lyman states that although some might believe Dr. Angelou’s range in variety of writing might be only moderate, her poetry is nothing but honest, and portrays her dignity in every word stated. The contemporary era was a time when many writers were beginning to realize there is more to writing then just the genres that have already been...