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OLD FOLKS. MAYA ANGELOU Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou.

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Presentation on theme: "OLD FOLKS. MAYA ANGELOU Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou."— Presentation transcript:

1 OLD FOLKS

2 MAYA ANGELOU Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African- American family, community, and culture. Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.

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4 OLD FOLKS They have spent their content of simpering, holding their lips this and that way, winding the lines between5 their brows. Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines. The hollers rise up and spill10 over any way they want. When old folks laugh, they free the world. They turn slowly, slyly knowing the best and the worst of remembering.15

5 Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths, their heads wobble on brittle necks, but their laps20 are filled with memories. When old folks laugh, they consider the promise of dear painless death, and generously forgive life for happening to them.25

6 SUMMARY This poem describes how old people no longer have to control their expressions and worry about things. They are now free to laugh as they wish. They welcome death that will release them. They have made peace with all that has occurred in their lives.

7 Vocabulary Spent – used up; depleted Content – satisfied Simpering - grinning Jiggle – shake; rattle Tamborines – a musical instrumental Hollers – howls Glistens – shines;glints Wobble – shake;tremble Brittle – fragile; weak;breakable

8 They have spent their content of simpering, holding their lips this and that way, winding the lines between their brows. Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines. The hollers rise up and spill over any way they want. When old folks laugh, they free the world. Lines 1 – 12 : describes how they laugh, unconcerned about their physical appearance and have a sense of freedom. They have stopped complaining and frowning and laugh quite spontaneously instead about what their bodies do.

9 When old folks laugh, they free the world. They turn slowly, slyly knowing the best and the worst of remembering. Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths, their heads wobble on brittle necks, but their laps are filled with memories. When old folks laugh, they consider the promise of dear painless death, and generously forgive life for happening to them. Lines 13 – 25: deals with their memories that are both good and bad.

10 They have spent their content of simpering, holding their lips this and that way, winding the lines between their brows. They have gone through the phase of their life when they controlled their expressions.

11 Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines. Tambourines make a celebratory sound. It has connotations of a happy, joyful sound.

12 The hollers rise up and spill over any way they want. Their laughter is loud, spontaneous and uncontrolled – a sound that reflects pure joy. When old folks laugh, they free the world. Their lack of restraint inspires the rest of us to throw off some of the cares of the world.

13 They turn slowly, slyly knowing the best and the worst of remembering. Connotations of ‘slyly’ – secrecy; cunning. They have life experience and may know things that the rest of us do not know, or not have experienced.They have good and bad memories. Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths, their heads wobble on brittle necks Saliva may be seen at the corners of their lips; Their heads move about and may shake because their necks are now weakened by age – maybe osteoporosis (brittleness of bones).

14 but their laps are filled with memories. Although their bodies may be weak they still have a fortune in memories. Connotations of ‘laps’: warm, loving, comfortable Children and grandchildren were carried on laps so they have experience with child rearing and a wealth of memories associated with the experiences.

15 When old folks laugh, they consider the promise of dear painless death, Their bodies are weak and in pain, so the elderly welcome death in order to escape the physical pain. They hope for a pain-free life after death or they wish to die without any pain and suffering.

16 and generously forgive life for happening to them. They forgive all the sad happenings in their life and are not bitter. They have made peace with life and know that death is inevitable.

17 Figures of Speech Simile ‘Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines’ Their bellies are compared to tambourines because of the gentle movements and the sounds they make when they giggle or laugh quietly.

18 Alliteration slowly, slyly The alliteration slows the pace of the line to match the slow movement of the old people.

19 Colloquialisms Colloquialisms ‘folk’, ‘holler’ are used to make the poem sound more direct and personal.

20 Tone The tone is light-hearted; conversational The word ‘but’ in line 19 indicates a change of tone. The tone becomes more serious. They hope their deaths would be a release from pain OR that they may have a painless death.

21 Form It is written in free verse using the natural rhythms of ordinary speech to establish a conversational tone.

22 QUESTIONS 1. Describe in your own words what old people have finished doing in lines one to six, according to the speaker. (2) 2.Comment on the lines: ‘slyly knowing / the best and the worst /of remembering’. (3) 3. Identify and explain the figure of speech in lines 6-8: ‘Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines.’(3)

23 4. How does the diction used contribute to the theme of the poem? List and discuss a few chosen words in your answer. (3) Prepared by Yesheni Nair

24 MEMO 1. Old people have finished containing and checking their actions and emotions - ahiding their true selves. 2. The lines: ‘slyly knowing / the best and the worst / of remembering’, refer to old people’s wisdom. Their lives have been good and bad, but their memory accentuates the positive rather than the negative. They teach the rest of us to not only focus on what brings us down.

25 3. Simile The figure of speech is used because it shows that old people have no restraints when they show their joy. Their bodies are no longer muscular and lean, but it does not matter because their laughter is sincere and it is expressed with their whole selves. 4. The diction used contributes to the theme of the poem because the words have a positive implication. Words, such as: ‘laugh’, ‘free’, ‘memories’, ‘generously’ and ‘life’, imply that old people have learned to accept life as it happens and to enjoy it as far as they can without obsessing over the negative. They also move away from the physical and turn towards their spiritual selves because they have learned that this is where joy originates. This wisdom is expressed when they laugh.


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