Life Doesn’t Frighten Me


‘Shadows on the wall/ Noises down the hall’ yet Life Doesn’t Frighten Me anymore.

It seems that when Maya Angelou wrote this classic poem originally, it was not intended for children. However, it’s direct literary imagery fits perfectly. Then again, in this version, edited by Sarah Jane Boyers and united with pictures by Jean- Michel Basquiat, we realise its direct truths perfectly. It seems as though the pictures are an instinctive fit to to the courage of the message.

Thereafter, the rage of ‘Bad dogs barking loud’ is matched to a double spread of flaming anger. What’s more, we see the cacophony of ‘Mean old Mother Goose/ Lions on the loose‘ in Basquiat’s background image, a seeming child-like snarl. However the clarity of ‘LIFE DOESN’T FRIGHTEN ME AT ALL/ Not at all/ Not at all’ with its pale backgrounds, smiling pumpkin face leading to pictures of flowers, is revelatory.

Altogether, this is a book to linger over, with pictures to explore, and works to know, share, recall and live. Thereafter, Bookwagon is proud to recommend this beautiful book, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.

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Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

Poem by Maya Angelou, paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat, edited by Sara Jane Boyers

(Abrams)- hardback

What about ‘Mean old Mother Goose‘ or ‘Lions on the loose‘ or even ‘Dragons breathing flame/ On my counterpane‘? Might it be that Life Doesn’t Frighten Me?Then again, what of ‘Bad dogs barking loud‘ or ‘Big ghosts in a cloud’? Thereafter, ‘Panthers in the park‘ or ‘Strangers in the dark’? It seems that there is resolution that these cannot cower our reader.
Maya Angelou‘s classic poem is presented by Jean-Michel Basquiat in this beloved edition. It seems that every consideration within the great poet’s work is imagined at its most dramatic, from the terror of ‘the new classroom’ to ‘tough guys in a fight/ All alone at night’. Then again, as we realise the ‘magic charm’ of protection, it seems that Basquiat’s style matches almost empathetically. Thereafter there is light and space in the interpretation. We walk the ‘ocean floor‘ while the refrain LIFE DOESN”T FRIGHTEN ME AT ALL is shouted!
While Bookwagon offers a wealth of classic poetry collections, such as included within Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, this is a rare isolated poetry publication. However its courage and defiance, are stark and unique. What’s more, while the work was not intended for children, in this edition from Sarah Jane Boyers, we see its immediacy and relevance to a young audience. Furthermore, Basquiat’s images offer the full drama of childhood impression.
Bookwagon recommends Life Doesn’t Frighten Me as a poem to know, recite, love and this edition as a book to keep and gift.


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