You are here: In Memory of Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

 

I am amazed at the outpouring of emotion upon the death of Maya Angelou.  People I never suspected would read poetry have come out on Facebook, in blogs,  in person and in the news to tell about the impact this woman and her poetry had on their lives.  I first ‘met’ Maya Angelou in 1993 through a PBS video on poetry produced by Bill Moyers.  In the video Moyers reviewed Angelou’s life and interviewed her in her home town of Stamps, Arkansas.  I remember her voice best:  commanding, strong, deeply musical and sincere.  Hearing her prompted me to go in search of her poetry and other writing.  In the local library I discovered an audio recording of Angelou reading her poetry and was once again taken by the conviction in her words. Since that time I have purchased all of her books and every collection of her poetry to read them over and over again.  I even urged my son to see her in person when she presented at his college in Pueblo, Colorado, a presentation he was glad to have witnessed and I am sad to have missed.

Angelou believed in the power of poetry to give expression to thoughts and feelings that otherwise would be too difficult to speak or too important to leave unsaid. I, too, make poetry my life work, using many poets’ words to encourage people to explore their identities and to seek answers for life’s inevitable questions.  Poetry is the soul of language and Maya Angelou was the soul of poetry.

Today, or any day, pick up a volume of poetry and begin reading.  Even better, find some poems by Maya Angelou and listen deeply to the sound of life.

Find information about Dr. Maya Angelou here:

http://mayaangelou.com/

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/maya-angelou

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