The natural feeling that made I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings such a special reminiscence gives these verses their claim to poetry. They're mostly short and rhymed, in simple forms or freeform, not sophisticated but sensitive all the same to the aural possibilities of rhythm and diction. Of the two sections, one of lyrics on love as the black woman knows it and the other, longer pieces on angrier universal themes of blackness, the first seems the truer. Poems like "They Went Home" and "No Loser, No Weeper," slight as they are, carry the weight of experience. "Times-Square-Shoe-Shine-Composition" (in a "Dozens" cadence) and "The Calling of Names" flash among the serious but less well realized pieces of the second group — but nothing in either is a match for Miss Angelou's prose, where her real poetry flows without restraint.