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The New House
Transcript of The New House
A reflective poem is used to think about
what it means to be human. It has some
explicit or implicit generalization about
life by the poet and it is a reflection of
the poet's feelings or state of mind in a
The New House
By Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was originally named Marguerite Johnson and later changed her first name to Maya which was her nickname and her last name to Angelou. She was raised by her paternal grandmother in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. Because of that, she grew up as a Christian with a strong faith and belief system. She grew up when brutal racism was practiced. At the age of fourteen she dropped out of school to become the first African American female cable car conductor in San Francisco. She then went back to school and finished high school later giving birth to her son Guy a couple weeks after her graduation. Angelou worked with many famous people like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and won many awards because of the impact she made on America. Maya used poetry, biographies, journalism, children's books, and essays to record history. Maya Angelou passed away in 2014 at the age of 86.
In that time period, racism and discrimination towards African-Americans had a vast impact on Maya when she was growing up, because at that time, the brutality of discrimination was at a high. This poem is a reflection on her childhood and in that time period abuse and rape was prominent.
Poem's Relation to Author
When Angelou was seven years old, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. Once her uncles found out, they murdered him. Angelou felt guilty that her mother's boyfriend was murdered and her uncle was being convicted for his murder, so she stayed mute for five years. The only thing that made her keep going is her love for literature. The poem is about this event that happened while she was young.
The author's theme is about how the past can haunt you. She uses her past experience of rape and how she wants to move on from it to convey her theme to the reader.
Ballad- The New House is a poem of Maya Angelou's painful childhood that affected her emotionally.
Connotation- "What words have smashed against these walls, crashed up and down these halls,..." The two main words are smashed and crashed and in this case they are negative and relate to abuse.
Emotive Language - It uses the words such as “smashed” and “crashed”, making you think she was abused.
Gothic- It is the atmosphere of macabre and it feels eerie.
Mood- In the poem the author's mood was melancholy and very eerie.
Rhetorical question- " What feelings, long since dead, streamed vague yearnings below this ceiling light?"
Rhyme- "What words have smashed against these walls, crashed up and down these halls,..." The words that rhyme are smashed and crashed and walls and halls.
Symbolism-"shadows of another still exist" This quote represents her past self.
The rhetorical questions in this poem make the reader feel the author's helplessness. Angelou tries to convey her implicit emotions with these questions.
Questions Related to Poem
Why did he lie?
What is he doing?
Why is this happening?
What is real love?
When am I ever going to forget?
Why can’t I let it go?
Can I move on?
Will I find a new beginning?
Will it get better?