Maya Angelo did very little of her writing at home. She said that the comfort of her house was too distracting. “Angelou elected to write in the anonymous tranquility of what she described as “tiny, mean” hotel rooms. She typically rented the rooms for months at a time, and arrived early in the morning armed with only her writing materials and a Bible, a bottle of sherry and a deck of cards (which she claimed helped busy her “little mind”). Angelou ensured that the rooms were as spare as possible to sharpen her focus, and she often wrote while reclining on her side on the hotel bed. In an interview with the “Paris Review,” she confessed that one of her elbows was “rough with callouses” from lying on it for long hours each day.” (information from History.com.)
Angelou said, “When I’m writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness.”
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
She was born on April 4th, 1928 and died on May 28, 2014.
“I have met with women who I really think would like to be married to a poem, and to be given away by a novel.”
“I wish to believe in immortality — I wish to live with you forever.”
“There is a budding tomorrow in midnight.”
“The air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy.”
“The poetry of the Earth is never dead.”
John Keats was the eldest of five children born to a lower-middle class family in London. When his father fell off a horse and died, he left a large inheritance which John didn’t receive. His mother remarried, but the five children were sent to live with her parents. She joined them when the marriage failed. She died in 1810 and her parents died in 1814. Keats and his siblings didn’t receive their inheritance due to a dishonest guardian. John apprenticed with a surgeon in 1811 until 1814. While working in a London hospital as a junior apothecary and surgeon in charge of dressing wounds, he met Leigh Hunt, a poet and author and became friends with Percy Bysshe Shelley. They encouraged him to write poetry and he was 18 when he wrote his first poem. His first book, Poems, appeared in 1817.
The next year, his health began to fail, his financial difficulties got worse, his brother Tom battled tuberculosis, and the other brother was left penniless from a poor investment. John’s fiancee, Fanny Brawne, brought him happiness in spite of all the family troubles. In 1819, John wrote brilliant work, including, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” and “Ode to a Nightingale.”
In 1820, John’s tuberculosis became worse. He moved to Italy for the warm climate to ease his condition but he died there in February 1821 at 25 years old. An English Romantic poet left us too soon. (Information from http://www.history.com.)