Awakening in New York by Maya Angelou – Subway Art

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.


As I entered the 6 train on my way home early last week, I was struck by an image on the wall of the train. I began to read the poem, and it definitely┬áhit home for me. Coming from a not-so-busy town in Brooklyn, as a child, I’ve always been amazed at how everyday millions of people wake up early and commute to the city for school and work. This poem made me think about just how remarkable it is to now be a part of it. I took notice to the metaphor the poet used by describing herself as “an alarm clock.” This phrase as well as the poem as a whole does a really good job at depicting the daily morning routine of so many people!