Analysis of 'On the Pulse of Morning' by Maya Angelou

Angelou has been figured a national celebrity since the reading of her poem, ' On the Pulse of Morning', at President Clinton's inaugural in 1993. Maya's writings have a way of embracing people and successfully state her thoughts and emotions. "Pulse" is a call for hope and opportunity part of our history. Maya Angelou's poem ' On the Pulse of Morning' relates to diversity, change over time, and equality. When analyzing her poem, we came across stanzas that relate to these topics.

Her poem has successfully portrayed a sense of diversity. Many lines in different stanzas are related to diversity. Stanza four and five, states, "The singing River,and the wise Rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, the African, the Native American, the Sioux, the Catholic, the Muslim, the French , the Greek, the Irish, the Rabbi, the Sheik, the Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, the privileged, the Homeless, the Teacher. They hear. They all hear the speaking of the tree." They are united by nature, but different due to their culture. In stanza six a lot about diversity has been acknowledged. The people who once helped Maya, do not anymore. It also says that we arrived from the Indians.

In the course of history, elements of society have changed. Examples through Maya's work are, "The dinosaur, who left dried tokens Of their sojourn here... Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny." (stanza 1). The dinosaur, as you well know are now extinct. They have left their "dried tokens" or their fossils here when they were once here. They left them here for us to find. For the different groups to find. The dinosaurs were "lost in the dust..." and it was hard for people to find, but now over the years, the dinosaurs fossils have been found. Also the slave black African Americans have come from the ancient homeland of Africa. The slaves were once hear and now the United States passed a law that slavery was to be abolished. Over time people places and all things have changed, for both good and bad.

Equality, is an important concern in the world today. "Women, chidren, men, Take it into the palms of your hands..." (stanza 8) Our society can be a loving one with equality for men, women, blacks, and whites. Rich or poor we all have the same opportunities in our country. No matter when in history we all appear. People think that people that are not like them come from other planets, but we are all members of this planet. No matter how strange we appear to be to others. "History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, but if faced With courage, need not to be lived again. "(stanza 7) We learn from the past. The discrimination should not happen again, nor the inequality.

Maya was successful in relating her poem to diversity, change over time, and equality. She was a very talented writer, and this poem clearly is a contribution to today's Civil Rights Movement.

Meghan A.

Toni J.

Kristin D.

Teachers: Visit our sponsor for Social Studies Materials

Ordering teaching materials through
this website will help keep it alive.

George Cassutto's Cyberlearning World

     [Lesson Plan of the Day]     [Cassutto Memorial]    [About the Author]    [Search]    [Civics Lesson Plans]