On Maya Angelou

On Maya Angelou: How a caged bird sang
The eight-year girl who became mute
Fearing her own voice that named
Terrible things done to young girls
By the likes of Freeman,
And miraculously recovered
Her strong voice,
With the aid of Mrs. Bertha Flowers,
Her teacher and
Shakespeare,
Dickens,
Poe,
And others who taught her literature;
From a pimp, prostitute, club-dancer to international artist,
Maya Angelou proved that caged birds can sing and fly,
By becoming the main author of their own life,
By naming all the demeaning things done by brutes
To helpless women and girls young,
She confronts truths bitter and names things unashamed,
Thus stripping coy images and docile stereotypes,
Of the accumulate paint of the centuries,
A bold awakened Maya, thus,
Finds a voice strong to critique,
And re-write all the old narratives of racism and oppression,
Embedded deep in every culture,
By devising and singing new songs of delicious freedom,
And, via her songs, liberate other sisters still abused and maimed
By unfeeling patriarchy and overarching capitalism;
From a mute bewildered victim to civil rights activist to an inspiring
Global icon, for the oppressed men and women,
Maya has proved,
You can cage the body but
Not a soaring spirit,
Songs cannot be imprisoned,
By totalitarian systems anywhere
In the world
But—
They will burst forth forcefully,
Like the surging waters of the dam,
And tear asunder all the visible
And all the
Invisible chains.

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About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html For more details, please visit the blog: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/

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