This morning I was saddened to learn of the passing of renowned poet and icon of her generation, Dr. Maya Angelou. Although I’ve never been a terrific student of poetry, I have experienced Maya’s work when in a high school English class we were asked to select a book of poetry to study. I chose I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and spent several weeks of the semester reading and doing my best to analyse and interpret the different poems. I’ll admit as a teenager I didn’t have the life experience to truly understand the deeper meaning of her words. In many ways I still don’t.
That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate her life and works. She is an inspiration and will be missed.
NYTimes Article: Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86
This is a spot-on and succinct tribute to a great and important artist and likely reflects most Americans’ experience with such revered poetry. I like your choice of a photo as well. Poetry can seem obtuse and lofty to many of us, and that image gets at the humility and humanity behind it.
I think the true makeup of a public figure is measured by their willingness to go on Sesame street and play with the puppets. And you have to love her smile, it truly sparkles.