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Awakening in New York
Transcript of Awakening in New York
By: Maya Angelou
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Born Marguerite Johnson in 1928. Writer and activist Maya Angelou had a broad and successful career as a streetcar conductor, a dancer, editor, teacher, storyteller, and actress. Influenced by people like Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare. She died in 2014 at the age of 86.
About Maya Angelou
I think the most important element is imagery. In this poem the use of imagery is creatively used. It contributes to the theme beacuse it allows the reader to vividly picture what they are reading and to better understand it. For example the line "Curtains forcing their will against the wind" (line 1 and 2) and "children sleep, exchanging dreams with seraphim" (line 3, 4, and 5)
Most Important Element
Poem: "Awakening in New York" by Maya Angelou
Form: 1 stanza; 11 lines
Rhyme Scheme: Unrhymed
Imagery: "Curtains forcing their will against the wind" (line 1 and 2)
"children sleep, exchanging dreams with seraphim" (line 3 through 5)
Figurative Language: Alliteration, "I, an alarm, awake and a rumor of war" (line 8) "unasked and unheeded"(line 11)
Speaker/ Character: The character does not have a name, we know the character as "I". They are also the speaker of the poem.
Tone: Uselessness and neglect. (line 10 and 11)
Theme: The person is feeling disengaged from life, even within the most exciting place in the US, New York. The city that never sleeps.
Awakening in New York
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.
In line 1 and 2 it describes the loud sound of the wind as it blows into a room and moves curtains. The wind represents the turbulence the narrator feels from within.
In line 3, 4, and 5 the narrator does not describe himself or herself with the same happy regard. Maya Angelou is explaining that the “I” voice wishes to return to the innocence that is often connected with being a child.
In line 5, 6, and 7 the phrase the city never sleeps comes into play. It seems the everyone in the city is dragging along through the day. Most of the people in New York use the subways as a quick and easy way to get around.
In line 8 and 9 it compares the self to an alarm, which indicates the self follows routines, and waking up to start a day is one of them. The word alarm explains that the narrator feels empty and void of positive emotion.
In line 10 and 11 the narrator awakens in the morning yet does not feel like participating in the events that day. Feelings of neglect and the uselessness are conveyed here. The narrator is feeling disengaged from life. The narrator has a turbulent past, who wishes to return to a state of innocence, and feels useless within New York.