Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, by Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou’s first book first essays, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, was published shortly after she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (Click Link to Poem) at President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration.

The book presents several short essays, some autobiographical, along with two poems. The subjects vary in length and include fashion, entertainment, sensuality, pregnancy, racism, and death. The poems were about her mother Vivian Baxter and an untitled poem about the similarities between all people, despite their racial and cultural differences.

Angelou used the essays to tell her own story using the stories to bring out something that allowed her to just add in her own humor and moral advice in a light-handed way.

An example this is shown in the “Power of the Word,” which was about Angelou’s experience with her grandmother in Stamps Arkansas during the Great Depression. She wrote about the colorful clothing that she loved but also own troubles as a single mother.

In the essay n “Extending Boundaries,” Angelou’s wrote of her early days as a writer in New York City and some of the mistakes she made.

Her writing style was simple, direct and even her essays had a poetic tone to them. When you read her poetry or essays you wanted to spend some time pondering what she meant. Her advice holds true for proper living advice today.

The book may leave you looking back at your own life journey and see the value of the struggles.


“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.”

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.” 

“Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.” 

See Literary Favorite Section for more about Maya Angelou and links to her other books reviewed on this site………..click here

See Poem………… “On the Pulse of The Morning by Maya Angelou” click here to link