Maya Angelou’s Poetry Read by a Really Creepy Robot
This morning I woke up to the news that Maya Angelou had died. She was an amazing human and an incredible writer, so I wanted to go back and read my favorite poem of hers, “Still I Rise”.
When I googled it, the piece came up on Poem Hunter, so I clicked on it. Just as I started to read the poem to myself a robot voice began reading it to me. Then after a line or two of the poem, a video ad came up and when it finished, the robot voice continued the poem. It was the strangest thing ever and honestly, really disconcerting. Why was this robot asking, “Does my sassiness upset you?” and “Did you want to see me broken?/Bowed head and lowered eyes?” Why did it say:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Was my computer warning me, through a Maya Angelou poem, that the great robot uprising was already coming to pass?
I clicked around a few other of the Top 500 Poems and realized they ALL had the same robot narrator. And then it dawned on me, we are at such a sad state in literature that only robots are reading poetry these days! For shame on all of us.
For reals though, it’s a really strange thing to have on a poetry site and I imagine it’s only done so they can make money off of video ads. Regardless, if you’ve ever wanted to hear a robot do a really terrible job of reading a beautiful and inspiring May Angelou poem here is your chance. Prepare to be really creeped out: