Gauging the Pulse of a New Poem

“On the Pulse of Morning,” the poem written and read by Maya Angelou to celebrate the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, has been published as a special commemorative paperback book by Random House.

The move is unusual because, except in cases of book-length verses, poetry is usually published in collections or anthologies, and not as individual works.

But Robert D. Loomis, Angelou’s longtime editor at Random House, said the company decided to issue the single poem because Angelou “captured America’s heart on Inauguration Day.”

He added that “what’s more satisfying about this new layer of recognition is that it is attracting even more readers to her remarkable and diverse body of work.”


Random House is starting with a first printing of 50,000 copies of “On the Pulse of Morning"--enough to aim for bestseller status.

Angelou’s previous works include a series of autobiographies that began with the classic “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Her newest book, “Lessons in Living,” is a collection of essays examining her thoughts about spirituality and is due out in the fall.