Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6: Congratulations, Maya Angelou, "Life Doesn't Frighten Me"

I was getting in the elevator at the university to ride up to my office.  My arms were full of books and papers and bags.  I was completely distracted.  A graduate student was getting off the elevator as I got on.  As the doors were closing, she said, "Congratulations on your nomination."

I didn't know what she was talking about at first.  Then I remembered that the announcement of the nominees for Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula were announced officially last night.  It was a little surreal for me.  I'm used to being a ghost in the department.  Don't really know most of the grad students.  I just go to my office, shut my door, grade and blog, teach, and then go home.

Anyway, it's a strange feeling to be noticed for being a poet.  Usually, I'm noticed for being a father or husband or church musician.  If somebody asks me about my job, I usually say, "I teach."  I can't imagine saying, "I write." 

When somebody asked Maya Angelou that question, she probably said, "I write."  And she probably said it very clearly and loudly.  She wasn't afraid of too many things.

Saint Marty wishes he had a little bit of Maya in him.

Life Doesn't Frighten Me

by:  Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn't frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn't frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don't frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn't frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won't cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don't frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don't frighten me at all.

Don't show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I'm afraid at all
It's only in my dreams.

I've got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn't frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn't frighten me at all.

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