07 June 2010

I know why I need this t-shirt

I found this shirt on a charitable website called http://www.outofprintclothing.com/ that features tees with famous book covers and donates a book through Books for Africa to communities in need for every shirt sold. This one happens to feature one of my all-time favorite books and authors. I first read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was a teenager and I've read it a few more times since. Might have to put in on the summer reading list I'm working on. One of the best chapters is about Maya's breakthrough as a young girl brought about by the kindness of a teacher. Maya was sexually traumatized as a girl and didn't speak for several years after, only breaking her silence when a beautiful and kind teacher read to her. Some other memorable words from the novel:

"See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking." (Ch. 36)

"Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty...You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind." (Ch. 10)

Maya also wrote a poem of the same name, the lines of which have always stuck with me, made me think about things I don't know about, things I once longed for, whether my wings are clipped or not. The refrain:

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

1 comment:

MickeyMFan said...

Oh, Hayley--that is such a cool website. I think I'm going to get the Of Mice and Men shirt and wear it next year for English III. :)


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