Shaker, why don't you sing?

Poetry by Maya Angelou


Shaker, Why Don't You Sing? is author and poet Maya Angelou's fourth volume of poetry, published by Random House in 1983. It was published during one of the most productive periods in Angelou's career; she had written four autobiographies and published three other volumes of poetry up to that point. Angelou considers herself a poet and a playwright, but is best known for her seven autobiographies, especially her first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, although her poetry has also been successful. She began, early in her writing career, alternating the publication of an autobiography and a volume of poetry. Many of the poems in Shaker focus on survival despite threatened freedom, lost love, and defeated dreams. Over half of them are love poems, and emphasize the inevitable loss of love. "Caged Bird", which refers to Angelou's first autobiography, is contained in this volume.

First Published


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