Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Farewell To Maya Angelou - 1928 - 2014

"Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently."  -- Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou 

Today the news broke of Maya Angelou's passing. I enjoyed hearing interviews with her because she always spoke in a well-thought out, articulate manner. She was a self-made woman, rising above many challenges in life to become an accomplished author. I admired her mastery of language, and her ability to rise above difficulty, and her talent for putting it all into words. I heard her recite her poetry on TV more than once, and I can still hear her voice in my head saying "I rise, I rise, I rise."  Thank you, and farewell, Maya Angelou.

Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

(Poem from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, copyright 1978, published by Random House.)

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem! It's so sad that another great voice of wisdom and poetry is gone. Requiescat en pace, Maya!