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A salute to Maya Angelou

Posted: June 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Perhaps the most difficult task to make a financial living at is that of being a poet. Yet, if one is great enough and has a measure of luck — like Maya Angelou — it is not impossible.

Her poetry reached out to all sectors of the human predicament. As great as she was, she was not an elitist. Her poetry left nobody behind.

Poetry is less understood by the balance of Americans here in the 21st century than it was at the founding of our nation. Indeed, in the 1700s, poetry was a common form of literary expression out of which all peoples took notice to better their lives, a far cry from the computerized-and-technical age in which we live today.

However, as I say, Maya’s stuff was so great that it transcended any era and any culture. She was 86 when she died.

Yes, Maya’s stuff was read at the university level but also at the family dinner table. Parents read Maya to their children at bedtime.

Personally, I am not a fan of poetry, but I am a fan of Maya’s poetry! When I read her stuff, suddenly I became deeply interested in that literary genre.

Nobody lives forever, but her great poetry shall never die out.

Comments

projalice11: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:25 a.m.

The lady was one of a kind ..

I'm saddened that she is gone..


RobertBurton: Posted: June 2, 2014 3:32 p.m.

I think that if readers of The Signal agree with what the writer has to say in his, or her, letter to the editor then the readers do not post comments, but, if they disagree with the letter to the editor, they post comments galore. Maya Angelou deserves better than that! She was a good person and a great poet. Her poems, indeed, shall always benefit the value of the human being far above the value of the dollar bill. Readers who agree with me about that let me know by your comments. I think that it is an insult to Maya not to comment about her special life. She deserves your support!


17trillion: Posted: June 2, 2014 4:27 p.m.

"I think that it is an insult to Maya not to comment about her special life. She deserves your support!"

She's dead! How does being dead qualify as deserving of my support? Furthermore Robert, nobody that I know has deemed you King and arbiter of what to comment upon or not. I trust this will not insult Maya in light of her current condition.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 2, 2014 5:07 p.m.

People that survived her death, sometimes, like to give applause to her to the way she lived her life, it being so much more insightful than the average person! Would you say we ought not read the Bible because all the people in it--except Jesus and God--are dead? Her life deserves our support, and, now that she is deceased, I think it is a good time to comment on her wise poems that helped to aid humanity. That does not make me a king; it merely makes me a sentient human being--with feelings.


projalice11: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:33 p.m.

BINGO to RobertBurton..


17trillion: Posted: June 3, 2014 8:25 a.m.

"Her life deserves our support"

It does? Says who? You? Lois? Sorry, but when someone demands that I support them, I'm inclined not to especially if they are dead. You can comment on her "wise" poems, but to mandate that everyone does is ignorant. She is no more or less worthy of support than any dead person, which is to say being dead means she requires none.

As far as the bible, I don't believe in it and if you mandated that I support it or it's principals, you would get the same push back from me.


CaptGene: Posted: June 3, 2014 9:02 a.m.

17t, ask Robert about his drive to outlaw racist words.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 3, 2014 9:33 a.m.

I suggest that there are many people who loved Maya and her work, but, because of the way of things, only post a comment when they disagree with the letter to the editor, never when they agree. I am trying to change that--hoping that those who agree with my Maya letter will post their comments, not just those who disagree--like you. It is traditional in America to pay one's last respects for the newly departed, and I think that Maya was very respected all across America. I would enjoy reading some of their comments.


CaptGene: Posted: June 3, 2014 10:18 a.m.

Why the chip on your shoulder Robert? The very first comment here was: "The lady was one of a kind .. I'm saddened that she is gone.."

Then, the second post, is you deriding negative posts that, prior to yours, were non-existent! You don't get to set the ground rules for what people post here. You're free to say whatever you want (within the guidelines of TMS's TOS) and so are we.

If you want to have some control over what people say, I suggest you put your "Ban on Racist Speech Bill" on the front burner. Speaking of that, how do you think Maya would have reacted to such a limit on free speech?


17trillion: Posted: June 3, 2014 10:48 a.m.

Speech banners are no better than book burners. Eventually they will come for something you hold dear.

What you need to understand Robert this a lot of people don't like being told what to do. I don't know Maya Angelou and her death has no impact on me other than responding to your idiotic demands. 155,000 people died yesterday and I don't see you getting weepy for any of them. Clearly some of them were far more important than a poet.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 3, 2014 12:25 p.m.

Again, I am talking about people who agree with my Maya letter, but who only post comments when they have something negative to say--but never when they have something positive to say. I think that poets are our most important citizens--by far--because they help us to understand our march through life much better than any other occupation! If you actually read her, I think you would agree with me! I am not telling people what to do, only that Maya's life is worth remembering by way of posting comments about her. That is a suggestion, not a command. You seem to be devoid of feelings on this issue. You need to take a course in logic.


17trillion: Posted: June 3, 2014 1:07 p.m.

"I think that poets are our most important citizens--by far--because they help us to understand our march through life much better than any other occupation!"

Wow, more important than doctors or nurses or cops or firemen or EMTs or soldiers or scientists or pilots or.....ahhhh, never mind.

"You seem to be devoid of feelings on this issue. You need to take a course in logic."

Ya think? Will Maya be better off if we all slobber about her accomplishments like you or will she still be dead? You're the one that said it was an insult not to comment on her "special" life and you think I need some logic? Weird......


RobertBurton: Posted: June 3, 2014 3:22 p.m.

Of all those people that you mentioned, how have they helped you to improve the quality of your life? Granted, they may add to the quantity of life, but how is living more years beneficial to one if the quality of his, or her, life suffers. As regards that, poets come to the rescue in a manner that no other occupation does. Furthermore, all those people that you mentioned will soon die off--and, thus, soon be forgotten--but the remembrance of a great poet (at least to intelligent people) lasts forever.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 5, 2014 10:54 a.m.

For example, a great poet can teach a racist how and why not to be one! All those people that you mentioned do not have the poetic wisdom to be able to do that, not by a longshot. If anything, all they can do is explain your current condition, and refer you to one specialist after another--which, in the long run, almost always has negative results as regards the quality of one's life. The best thing to do is read a great poet, because only they tap, seriously, into the quality of life. Maya was great at it.


17trillion: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:26 a.m.

"For example, a great poet can teach a racist how and why not to be one"

You're delusional. Racists, by their very definition, aren't usually bright enough to read poetry let alone poetry that is so enlightened as to cause them to change their mind on a deep seated and probably multi-generational mindset.

Now, let us rejoin the pukefest over a dead poet while ignoring the other 155,000 people that died yesterday. Like dead artists, Maya's death has generated far more interest in her life than her actual life did.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:50 a.m.

True enough, but that is the way it goes with most artists--they are not truly appreciated until after their death, and I just do not know why that is. Vincent Van Gogh, for example, was not appreciated until after his death. Nowadays, his paintings are worth millions of dollars. You sound wise to me, so, please, tell me why that is so. Yes, I agree with you about racists not being smart enough to understand poetry--most of them are that way, but not all. So, you think I am delusional; I am going to take some time and ponder that.


CaptGene: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:56 a.m.

17T, save yourself, it's a rabbit hole, stop going down it while you can still see daylight!


RobertBurton: Posted: June 5, 2014 12:56 p.m.

You again, CaptGene. I thought you said that you were going to jump ship, never to be heard from again. Well, I say that poets do have the wisdom to cure racists, but most racists are not wise enough to understand their counsel, as 17T says. A longtime friend of mine has been a clinical psychologist for more than fifty years, and I am going to question him about my supposed delusion. I shall let you know what he says about that. Perhaps, all of us are delusional to a certain degree?


17trillion: Posted: June 5, 2014 1:16 p.m.

Some more than others....


RobertBurton: Posted: June 5, 2014 6:28 p.m.

Three parts exist to my proposed law--the theory, the philosophy, and the practice--and many of my detractors fail to understand all three, and, hence, become confused! For example, my theory makes it illegal to utter racist thoughts anywhere and at anytime, here in America. My philosophy defines what it means to project love of race in the first place, that is, race is an accidental occurrence but not an earned attribute. Therefore, one does not have a right to be proud of his, or her, race. The practice, the third portion, consists in logically placing the proposed law on the books. That is the beginning to my proposal. Any comments about my beginning will be appreciated.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 1:12 a.m.

My rough drafts to my proposal are coming along well, and I think that I am going to make all my detractors eat their words. Indeed, I expect my proposal that I submit to the White House to be taken seriously, a far cry away from being delusional! I think that that is why I have not heard any comments about the beginning to my proposed law. Yes, that is the beginning to my proposal, but it is not in verbatim. My final draft, which shall not be completed until early August of this year, will be taken seriously from the powers that be. Most theories are though of as silly upon first inspection by a unrelenting public--remember Sigmund Freud--but, after they stand the test of time, the public welcomes them in as fresh insight. One must be bold in order to project his, or her, theories to a hostile public.


ricketzz: Posted: June 6, 2014 7:09 a.m.

There's no call for belittling Ms. Angelou. Good poets don't come along much anymore.

“When members of a society wish to secure that society’s rich heritage they cherish their arts and respect their artists. The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures offered in our country enhances our possibilities for healthy survival and continued social development.”
― Maya Angelou


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 9:50 a.m.

That was a great quotation of Dr. Angelou! Yes, whenever we wish to speak about a "society's rich heritage" the job is left to our greatest thinkers and writers--to our great poets. By the way, Maya, for those of you who don't know, had an honorary doctorate degree. She like it when people called her Dr. Angelou.
I say that a word is worth a thousand pictures, not the other way around, because words open up one's imagination in a way that pictures cannot.


17trillion: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:00 a.m.

"She like it when people called her Dr. Angelou."

So she was an arrogant stuff shirt who didn't even do the completed work to become a doctor? Reminds me of "Dr." Jill Biden. I think she has a history doctorate.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:25 a.m.

The poetry and life she lead was equal to the education of classroom study, so much so in her case that she was awarded a doctorate! I had a college professor tell me that honorary degrees are every bit as special as is going the classroom route. I believe that Mark Twain, also, had an honorary doctorate. By the way, we are talking about Ph.D. degrees, not an M.D. I never heard of her to be an arrogant person. She just had a measure of pride in all that she had accomplished. Some people say that William Shakespeare was the greatest writer of all time, yet he never went to college. Perhaps, you have a racist dislike for her?


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:37 a.m.

I believe that Maya was rightfully proud of her honorary doctorate, for she earned in life--by her great poetry--much more than anybody could in a classroom setting. That is by no means being arrogant. Rather, she just enjoyed the insight that she had to deliver for an America populace--and an international delivery, for that matter. Perhaps, you just have a racist dislike of her rather than an honest one. Indeed check your own conscience, on that one! I only regret is that I never met her.


17trillion: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:52 a.m.

"Perhaps, you have a racist dislike for her?"

I've never even heard of her let alone know what her race is. On second thought, yes, I dislike her because of her race. I find her race to be undesirable and beneath me. If only I knew what her race was? What is her race Bob?

You're a bit of an odd duck aren't ya Bob!


CaptGene: Posted: June 6, 2014 11:01 a.m.

17T, I tried to warn you!


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 11:14 a.m.

I will let you figure out her race on your own; do your own research. I do not think that trying to clear up the racist problem we have here in America qualities me for being "an odd duck." Rather, I am just outthinking you--and your cohort--and I think that that is emotionally upsetting to you, and yours. Instead of just going back to the drawing board, as it were, you project out to me what is actually in yourself. Indeed, Sigmund Freud called that "projection." I do not recall reading any of your publications, that is, if you have any?


17trillion: Posted: June 6, 2014 11:18 a.m.

Upsetting? No, more like laughable.

You're right Gene. I'm done. Let Bob continue in his noble efforts to clear up the racist problem we have. Gosh, who would have thought electing a black dude, albeit a half black dude, would cause so much racism. I guess Maya should have tried harder.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 11:42 a.m.

My friend the clinical psychologist--who has been in private practice for fifty years--is on a two-week vacation, so I will wait for his return in order to drop your delusional charge against me. However, I suspect that he will say it is a bogus charge of yours. Rather, I am a short-story writer, and, hence, have a lot of creativity in me; you misjudge that as being delusional. Nevertheless, I shall let you know what he says about me on his return home. By the way, name calling--"an odd duck"--is a last-resort attempt by you to save a failing position.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 2:47 p.m.

Lois Eissenberg, from Valencia, is a great thinker and a great writer. She has a letter to the editor in The Signal today. She states, rightly, that because of human beings we now have climate change and global warming. She goes on to say that "the White House and the EPA has come up with new rules on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in order to lessen as much as possible climate change!" Bravo to Lois for another of her inspirational letters to the editor. She is always an excellent read.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 6, 2014 8:57 p.m.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
--Maya Angelou
How anybody could badmouth Maya goes beyond me; she was the very essence of a wise-and-classy woman! Unlike some poets, Maya made her poetry readable for all grades of education, here in America.


ricketzz: Posted: June 7, 2014 7:14 a.m.

Dr. Jill Biden is an MD or a DO, i.e. a real medical doctor.

Dr. Angelou, then. She had humor, grace and a gift for words. Clever people appreciate other clever people.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 7, 2014 10:55 a.m.

I think philosophers, with few exceptions, are wiser than physicians, and by a huge margin, because philosophers (especially moral philosophers) tell us about what it means to be human beings, and ultimately they tell us how to live the good life. Maya was a philosopher on the subject of poetic awareness.
Physicians, in our current age, have an enormous amount of status, but their wisdom about the meaning of life is far beneath that of the philosopher. Hence, I should much rather read a philosopher, poet, than a physician.


CaptGene: Posted: June 7, 2014 7:10 p.m.

cricketzz: "Dr. Jill Biden is an MD or a DO, i.e. a real medical doctor"

Got a source for that?

(this should be fun) --edited.


ricketzz: Posted: June 8, 2014 6:55 a.m.

I stand corrected. She has PhD and taught in hospitals. I made an assumption a hundred years ago. I will now disembowell myself on YouTube, or not.

Still, we are stuck on a siding again. The train is gone.


CaptGene: Posted: June 8, 2014 7:15 a.m.

cricketzz: "I will now disembowell [sic] myself on YouTube..."

By all means...when you do, make sure to have RobertBurton standing by. He should apply some Frost and wrap you in some Longfellow.

I'd recommend you do your research...next time...but I know you won't...old dogs, new tricks...that sort of thing.


tech: Posted: June 8, 2014 12:34 p.m.

Seppuku cannot restore honor never earned, ricketzz. Evaluating poets isn't a high calling, railman. --edited.


CaptGene: Posted: June 8, 2014 1:39 p.m.

I suspect the nurses and orderlies at Casa Cricketzz must limit his internet use to about one hour a day. He only seems to post during a very narrow period in the morning, and he's remarkably ill-informed. That's the only explanation that makes any sense.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 8, 2014 3:36 p.m.

CaptGene, your opprobrious attacks are scurrilous! Yes, attacks by you are most truculent. Just say what you have to say without being contumelious. Indeed, when you revile like you do, you show a lack of education. That is, when you cannot think of anything constructive to say, you jump on ad hominem attacks. Yes, that is the sign of vituperative doings by you, and, hence, most vitriolic. Again, such language by you is most invective. I hope that what I had to say here is lauded by you, as it was intended.


CaptGene: Posted: June 8, 2014 5:01 p.m.

Looks like someone got a Thesaurus! --edited.


17trillion: Posted: June 9, 2014 8:15 a.m.

"Lois Eissenberg, from Valencia, is a great thinker and a great writer."


Does anyone know how to clean coffee out of a keyboard after said coffee exited my nose at a high rate of speed? A great thinker?


CaptGene: Posted: June 9, 2014 9:51 a.m.

17t, the guy is obviously either trying to be funny, or is just an unoriginal troll. Either way he can't be taken seriously.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 9, 2014 10:22 a.m.

I say as a writer of letters to the editor, she is awesome, but I have not read any of her writing outside of letters to the editor, so I will not comment on those. Liberal writers make more honest writers than do conservative ones: there was a study done by the LA Times which ultimately proved that to be the case. Although the study was done many years ago, I have not heard of any new study that denies the original finding of the Times. Indeed, Lois is always thought provoking, and has a great pen.


CaptGene: Posted: June 9, 2014 11:30 a.m.

"Liberal writers make more honest writers than do conservative ones: there was a study done by the LA Times which ultimately proved that to be the case"

See what I mean 17t? I think we have a frustrated comedy writer on our hands.


17trillion: Posted: June 9, 2014 11:40 a.m.

So the Times, which is liberal, does a study that says liberals, like the Times, are more honest than conservatives?

There is just something wrong with a person that could make such an idiotic claim.

Yes, I find Lois' constant use of "Bingo" to be anything but thought provoking. But perhaps this is your problem Bob? Anyone that would find the bingo lady to be thought provoking can't be older than 4 or on the wrong side of a mental deficiency.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 9, 2014 3:54 p.m.

I understand, perfectly, that anybody who disagrees with your opinions is "on the wrong side of a mental deficiency." That, of course, is just ad hominem nonsense. Indeed, you attack the person more than his, or her, comments. You should have learned all of that in philosophy 101!
There are about 17 trillion mistakes you make in your comments to me, but the worst, as I say, are your ad hominem attacks! I bet, if you clear them up, all the rest of your mistakes shall also fall. In any case, why are you afraid to use your real name next to your comments? That might be a real source of mental danger! In writing a letter to the editor, the writer must attach his, or her, real name to it--that takes a measure of boldness. In comments, however, one tends to use ad hominem arguments all the time because he, or she, cannot be identified. I say check out your own mental awareness; mine is fine.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 9, 2014 7:46 p.m.

By the way, the reason why the Times are liberal revolves around the fact that liberals, again, have been tested out to be much more honest in their writings than conservative writers. That being proven, most newspapers, here in America, want to hire the more honest of writers. That is, why hire conservative writers who, hence, would demean the value of your newspaper? I should say that the study was not conducted by the Times; rather, the Times merely published the findings of the study. I forget who actually did the study.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 10, 2014 10:13 p.m.

The newspaper that did the study was not the LA Times, for, as I say, the Times merely published the findings of the newspaper that did the study, and not just once--twice. Yes, both studies came up with the same conclusion, that conservative writers tend to be dishonest in their writings; liberal writers tend to be honest in their writings. Therefore, it only makes sense that American newspapers would want to hire liberal writers and not to hire conservative writers. I realize that that can be upsetting to conservative writers, but the truth is the truth. Most newspapers demand honesty from their writers. Newspapers, then, do not have a liberal basis. Rather, they wish to hire writers who will be honest in their works. Nobody can blame them for that.


CaptGene: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:35 a.m.

17t, if you want a real laugh ask him to provide the link!


17trillion: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:44 a.m.

No thanks Gene. I'm taking your advice....finally!


RobertBurton: Posted: June 10, 2014 12:56 p.m.

Well, I have on order from a public library in Santa Clarita Angelou's autobiography--titled I know why the caged bird sings. I have read some of her poetry, but never her autobiography. Judging from the opinions of some of my friends who have read it, I think that I will enjoy the read.
I do no remember the newspaper that the study was in, only that the LA Times published the findings for all in the Greater Los Angeles Area to read. Conservatives tend to be prejudicial in their writings; hence, newspapers should use much caution in hiring those particular people.


CaptGene: Posted: June 10, 2014 1:22 p.m.

Smart move 17t. Either (1)he has the link and won't share it because he realizes it is complete BS, or (2)he has tried to find it and can't because it's actually an urban legend. I can't decide which is more likely. --edited.


RobertBurton: Posted: June 10, 2014 2:44 p.m.

Well, the study was done during the early 1980s--I say about 1982--and that was before the onset of computers had hit us. As a result, I have no links for you, but, if want to try and find a link, be my guess. As I say, the LA Times published the results of the study--they did not do the study, themselves--and I forget what newspaper did the study. After the study, conservative writers were beside themselves. When the second study supported the findings of the first study, conservative writers bewailed themselves--deep, deep sorrow from them. Although the study was completed many years ago, I have not heard of any study since that counters it. The study went on to say that liberal writers talked prejudicially, but, when it came time to actual write, they were not bias in any way. On the other hand, conservative writers spoke in a non-bias way, but, when it came time to write, they became very bias. Those are the facts.


CaptGene: Posted: June 10, 2014 4:57 p.m.

Looks like it's number 2. How appropriate is that!?


RobertBurton: Posted: June 10, 2014 6:46 p.m.

GaptGene, I notice in your comments that you do not argue the point of the matter, but rather cling to things like a link for a study that was done more than thirty years ago. I must take that as a sign that although you do not like it you tend to agree with the results of the study. Indeed, you tend to make such dishonest mistakes that the study refers to. You ought to go over your comments and check out how slyly you present your view of things. I have written enough to know how that works. I am always upfront with my comments. You attack the person but not his, or her, thoughts.


CaptGene: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:25 p.m.

What a simpleton, eh 17t?

He expects me to argue something he has no proof exists. How exactly is one to do that? I guess I could say there was an article, 29 years ago, that proved the earlier article was absolutely bogus. It's as valid a point as his. Next he'll want to argue about how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin. See what I mean about a "rabbit hole"?

I'll be leaving now, I strongly advise you to do the same. Perhaps if he starts arguing with himself he will find someone that agrees with him!


RobertBurton: Posted: June 11, 2014 10:28 p.m.

The simple person is you, for you have never learned to debate fairly--you just have ad hominid attacks. Indeed, you attack the person rather than his, or her, work. That is very unprofessional; it is the sign of an amateur debater, and the sign of a conservative writer.
On another subject, I think that Lois is the best letter writer that The Signal has yet produced, and I was looking at some of her old letters, today. She did not write bingo one time. She's always excellent.



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