I Shall Not Be Moved

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This is the first time I’ve read Maya Angelou. I understand the hype now; she’s a very good writer.

Those who’ve been to this site before may realize that I’m no poetry critic. In fact, the main reason I’ve been reading so much poetry is because my husband’s interest in it made me realize I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to poems. Reading them, writing them… doesn’t matter. I just have no clue.

So at the risk of sounding like I don’t know what I’m talking about, I thought I Shall Not Be Moved was a great collection of poems. I didn’t love all of them, but I liked most of them okay, and I absolutely loved a few. If you want a few good poems, pick up a copy.

Here’s one of my favorites:

Old Folks Laugh

They have spent their
content of simpering,
holding their lips this
and that way, winding
the lines between
their brows. Old folks
allow their bellies to jiggle like slow
tamborines.
The hollers
rise up and spill
over any way they want.
When old folks laugh, they free the world.
They turn slowly, slyly knowing
the best and worst
of remembering.
Saliva glistens in
the corners of their mouths,
their heads wobble
on brittle necks, but
their laps
are filled with memories.
When old folks laugh, they consider the promise
of dear painless death, and generously
forgive life for happening
to them.

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