Page 1

m aya a n g e l o u

love’s

exquisite

freedom

Illu stration s by

e d wa r d b u r n e - jo ne s


for from


love’s

exquisi te

freedom

Poem by Maya Angelou Artwork by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

welcome books


we,


unaccustomed to courage


delight

exiles from


coiled

live in shells of loneliness


unt i l

love

leave s

i t s h i g h h o ly t e m p l e

&

comes into our

sight


to liberate us into

life.


love

arrives

&


in its train come

ecstasies


old memories of

pleasure


ancient

histories of pain.


yet if we are bold, love

strikes away


the

chains of fear from our souls.


we are weaned from our

timidity


in the

of

flush

love’s light we dare be brave


and suddenly we see that

love


costs all we are

&

will ever be.


yet it is only love

which sets us

free.


Credits Page 1: Angeli Laudantes, 1898. Tapestry. Made in England, Merton Abbey. Dyed wool and silk on undyed cotton warp (15 warps per inch), 235 x 203.2 cm. Rogers Fund, 2008. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Page 2: Pomona Tapestry Design, 1884. Watercolor and body color figure by Burne-Jones, background by William Morris. Photo: Derrick E. Witty / National Trust Photo Library / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Wightwick Manor, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Pages 3-4: The Mirror of Venus, 1877. Oil on canvas, 120 x 200 cm, England. Photo: Catarina Gomes Ferreira © The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation / Scala / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Page 6: The Golden Stairs, 1880. Oil on canvas, 269.2 x 116.8 cm. Photo: Tate, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain

Page 7: The Days of Creation: The Sixth Day, 1870-1876. Watercolor, gouache, shell gold, and platinum paint on linen-covered panel prepared with zinc, white ground, 102.3 x 36 cm. Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop. Photo: Katya Kallsen / © Harvard Art Museum / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.

Page 8: Elaine, c. 1880. Painted and stained glass, design executed by Morris & Co. 86.3 x 51.4 cm. Bequeathed by J. R. Holliday. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

Page 9: The Wheel of Fortune, 1875–1883. Oil on canvas, 200 x 100 cm. Photo: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

Page 11: Cupid finding Psyche, 1866. Watercolor. 66.8 x 47.6 cm. © The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the British Museum, London, Great Britain

Page 12: The Love Song, 1868–1873. Oil on canvas, 114.3 x 155.9 cm. The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 1947 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Page 13: Gemini, 1857. Zodiac panel for Green Dining Room (Morris Room) at the South Kensington Museum. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

Pages 14-15: Frieze of Eight Women Gathering Apples, 1876. Oil on canvas, 73.7 x 182.9 cm. Photo: Tate, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain

Page 16: Women sitting in the grass at the edge of the water in Venice, c. 1859. Blacklead, 22.8 x 56 cm. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski / Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Louvre, Paris, France

Page 16: Head of a woman, 1872. Study for The Wheel of Fortune. Drawing, 25.3 x 17.8 cm. Photo: J.G. Berizzi / Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Louvre, Paris, France

Page 17: Girl with Platted Hair, 1886. Pencil drawing. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain


Page 17: Head of a woman. Charcoal, 52.3 x 40.5 cm. Photo: J. G. Berizzi / Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Louvre, Paris, France

Page 25: Pan and Psyche, 1872–1874. Oil on canvas, 65.09 x 53.34 cm. Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop. Photo: Katya Kallsen © Harvard Art Museum / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Pages 26-27: Love Among the Ruins, c. 1894. Oil on canvas. On loan from the Bearsted Collection, Upton House, National Trust. Photo: Derrick E. Witty /National Trust Photo Library / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Wightwick Manor, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Page 18: The Baleful Head, 1886–1887. Photo: Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany

Page 19: Sisyphus, c. 1870. Tempera on paper, 26.2 x 25.8 cm. Photo: Tate, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain

Pages 20-21: Love and the Pilgrim, 1896–1897. Oil on canvas, 157.5 x 304.8 cm. Photo: Tate, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain

Page 22: King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, 1884. Oil on canvas, 293.4 x 135.9 cm. Photo: Tate, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain

Page 23: St Agnes, a tapestry by Morris & Co after a painting by Burne-Jones, showing St. Agnes standing under a fruit tree holding a lamb. Photo: National Trust Photo Library / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Standen, East Grinstead, West Sussex, Great Britain

Page 24: Burne-Jones, Edward and William Morris. Merchant’s daughter, c. 1860. Stained and painted glass, 33.6 x 18.5 cm. Bequeathed by J. R. Holliday. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

Page 28: Love, 1880s. Design for a tapestry. Watercolor, 226.5 x 121.5 cm. Given by the Hon. Mrs Margaret Post. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

Page 29: Aries, 1857. Zodiac panel for Green Dining Room (Morris Room) at the South Kensington Museum. Photo: V&A Images, London / Art Resource, NY. Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

Published in 2011 by Welcome Books® An imprint of Welcome Enterprises, Inc. 6 West 18 Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel (212) 989-3200; Fax (212) 989-3205 www.welcomebooks.com Publisher: Lena Tabori President: H. Clark Wakabayashi Project Manager: Katrina Fried Designer: Kristen Sasamoto © 2011 by Welcome Enterprises, Inc. Text © 2011 Maya Angelou All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN: 978-1-59962-103-6 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data on file. First Edition / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in China


Brian Lanker

Maya Angelou Maya Angelou (1928– ) is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, she is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, her love for the arts won her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School. At 14, she dropped out to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school, giving birth to her son, Guy, a few weeks after graduation. From 1954 to 1955, Angelou was touring Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess, studying modern dance with Martha Graham, and dancing with Alvin Ailey. In 1957, she recorded her first album and in 1958, she moved to New York City, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild, acted in Jean Genet’s The Blacks, and wrote and performed Cabaret for Freedom. In 1960, Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt, then to Ghana the following year for teaching, editing, and writing. During her years abroad, she mastered French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and the West African language Fanti. In 1964, she returned to America to become an activist for Malcolm X.

After X’s assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated. Her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published in 1970 to international acclaim, including a nomination for a National Book Award. More than 30 bestselling titles have followed. In 1972, her screenplay for the film Georgia, Georgia was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She continued to appear on television and in films including the landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots (1977) and John Singleton’s Poetic Justice (1993). In 1996, she directed her first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante. Maya Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received 3 Grammy Awards. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Angelou’s reading of that poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” was broadcast live around the world. She has received over 30 honorary degrees and is currently Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Welcome Books produced two Maya Angelou books previously for Random House’s legendary editor, Bob Loomis, Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise.

Self-Caricature by an Easel

Sir Edward Burne-Jones Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898) is one of the most important artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and one of the greatest English romantic painters. Born just before the accession of Queen Victoria, his career spans almost the entire Victorian age. He was a romantic and a dreamer, devoted to his imagination, and deeply influenced by Romantic poetry, the Arthurian legends (glorifying as they did the ideal of romantic love), and his passionate Christian upbringing. His work focused on ideals of beauty, and on art itself as an object of beauty. He described a picture as being “a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, in a light better than any light that ever shone, in a land no one can define or remember, only desire. . .” His mother died within days of his birth, and he grew up with a shy, introspective father who was a gilder and a framer. The clarity of his purpose in life didn’t come until 1855, when he and his lifelong friend William Morris each declared what their futures would be:

Burne-Jones an artist, Morris an architect. As an artist, beauty became his muse. “Only this is true,” he wrote, “that beauty. . .softens and comforts, and inspires, and rouses, and lifts up and never fails.” His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his mentor and teacher. By the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic voice, and he married his childhood sweetheart, Georgiana—a marriage that almost did not survive his tumultuous and passionate affair with a Greek sculptress, Maria Zambaco, who became one of his greatest models. By 1861 he was a founding partner of Morris and Company and remained one of its greatest and most prolific designers of stained glass, tapestries, tiles, mosaics, books, and furniture. Deeply involved in the tradition of stained glass art in England, Burne-Jones’ glass works include the windows of St. Phillip’s Cathedral, St. Martins Church, All Saint’s, and Christ Church. Deeply respected as an artist throughout Europe, he exhibited numerous paintings and drawings and fulfilled commissions until his death in 1898. Thereafter, no major assessment of his work appeared until a 1975 Arts Council exhibition in Britain. A lavish exhibit—marking the 100th anniversary of Burne-Jones’s death—was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998, before traveling to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the Musée d’Orsay. Most recently, in 2008, The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon went on display for the first time at Tate Britain.

Love's Exquisite Freedom  

The newest installment in Welcome Books' Art & Poetry series, Maya Angelou's Love's Exquisite Freedom pairs the lyrical grace of Maya Angelo...

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