Thank You, Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman, 1928--2014
I remember the first time I read Maya Angelou’s book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It was the most searing yet beautiful prose I had ever encountered. And later, the phenomenon of her poem “Phenomenal Woman” invaded my consciousness and became a kind of anthem for women everywhere:
And who can forget the distinctive, rich voice of America’s poet laureate reading “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration?[youtube height=“315” width=“420”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59xGmHzxtZ4[/youtube]courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library.
Like picking your favorite star from the galaxy, who can choose one from among Maya Angelou’s shining words? But it’s equally impossible not to try. Here are a few of our favorites in tribute to the woman who in the authenticity of her soul and the sharing of her wisdom grew ever more beautiful with age:“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.Life’s a bitch.You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.”“If you don’t like something, change it.If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry;to get my work doneand try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
And nothing will ever dim the words of this phenomenal woman. Thank you, Maya Angelou. May you rest in the peace of one whose words and deeds have made the world phenomenally better.What are some of your own favorite Angelou quotes?