The caged bird sings no more

Cover of I Know Wht The Caged Bird SingsI awoke this morning to the news that Maya Angelou had died. Immediately, I felt a slight twinge of shame – her books, especially her poignantly titled autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, have been on my to-read mental shelves forever and a day.

Yet the first thoughts about her that I could summon were a mundane mix: I knew that Oprah was a big fan of hers and that she had featured in the TV series of Roots (only because I had recently caught snatches of it while channel-surfing late at night – if you are wondering, she played wise old Nyo Boto in the episodes set in Kunta Kinte’s village).

While listening to the news, I discovered that Angelou was also the author of the famous quote:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

But Maya Angelou was much more than that: she was a prolific writer, a poet, a civil rights activist, as well as a singer, a dancer, a director, and a producer whose life encompassed many varied experiences. Check out the following resources to learn more:

If, like me, you have yet to read Maya Angelou’s work, and the news of her death has spurred you into action, the library holds many of her titles. If you do plan to start with the bestselling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, keep in mind that it is available both as an individual book and as part of her Collected Autobiographies. We also have a simplified and abbreviated copy.

If you have already read some of Angelou’s books, please do share your thoughts and comments. Did she affect you as she appears to have affected these readers who commented on I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings?

Cover of The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou   Cover of Letter to My Daughter   Cover of Mom & Me & Mom

Waxing lyrical about Poetry and Short Story Reference Center

Poetry and Short Story reference centreIf your knowledge of poetry amounts to dirty limericks written on toilet walls and you are still in recovery from the behemoth book that was The Luminaries then we have the electronic resource for you! Poetry and Short Story Reference Centre contains thousands of classic and contemporary poems, as well as short stories, biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements, and techniques.

It practically comes with a guarantee that once you start using it you will come over all wordy and enigmatic like Byron! Don’t know who Byron is? To the square for a public flogging I say.

 Poetry & Short Story Reference Centre provides:

  • Over 700,000 full-text poems, both classic, contemporary and international;
  • More than 51,000 full-text short stories;
  • Over 10,000 dramatic works;
  • More than 2,300 audio recordings of poets reading their own works and the works of other poets;
  • High-quality videos provided by the Academy of American Poets;
  • Over 450 explications of both classic and contemporary poems.

Expand your mind for pleasure or education with this resource that is available from home or in any community library. All you need is your library card number and password/PIN.