Awaking in New York By Maya Angelou

‘Awaking in New York’ was written by the astound Maya Angelo. Written on a dull backdrop of what seems to be a rising sun on buildings, my initial reaction to reading this poem is, “it’s about waking up in New York City, and the routine that people working and the living in New York City experiences” but, after reading the poem and analyzing it I realize the meaning underneath the surface that it portrays is much deeper than that. In a somber and what one may describe as a depressing tone, this poem explains the lonely and depressing feeling that people feel from routine and from lack of control in their life. “Curtains forcing their wills against the wind” (lines 1-2) shows the imagery of the curtain flowing as the wind blows. an innocent image it portrays, but what the speaker is actually speaking about I believe is the troubles of life pushing through as the “wind”, and the “curtain” as people is trying to fight against it but is failing.” I an alarm, awake as a rumor of war/ lie stretching into the sun unmasked and unneeded” (lines 8-11)  the comparison to an inanimate object, shows the lack of care the speaker has for himself or herself. the poem is written in the first person, because of the use of the letter “I”, which makes the poem more relatable to subway passengers who might feel that way, because there is no gender attached. I believe this poem shows the robotic life that people inhabit as they make a step into adulthood, the stripping away of innocence and simplicity of life that we normally have as children, is removed and we become a hard surface, lacking the love, and care that we used to have as children.


One thought on “Awaking in New York By Maya Angelou

  1. Maya H.

    I like your analysis, it’s elaborate and impactful. I know that for me the daily routine of adult time feels oppressive most of the time so I can relate to this post pretty well. You forgot to ask the author questions, though, Sis. But this is really well-done and I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it.


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