LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER is a collection of poems and essays about various "chapters" in Angelou's life. On one hand, it's a fast read- the stories are wonderful and inviting and easy to read. On the other hand, it's a really slow read, because every single page, maybe even every paragraph, has at least two or three morsels of wisdom that you have to kind of roll around in your head, and reflect, and sort of grow into. There's a poem about graduation that I think will be perfect to share with my 18-year-old niece this spring. There is a poem about grieving that would make a perfect sympathy card.
Here are a few tidbits from the book:
"My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still." (xi)
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution." xii
Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood. xiii
Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.