Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou Dies At 86

I'm not really into poetry, guess it lacks mathematical equations but I greatly enjoy Maya Angelou. When I first read "Phenomenal Woman", I was struck by lightning. She is one of the greats, together with my personal favourites Khalil Ghibran, Robert Frost and Oscar Wilde.



Today she passed away, aged 86. Her life and struggle represents the lives of (too) many, still with her poetry she left behind a beautiful legacy. Obviously for me it is hard to relate to "I know why the caged bird sings" but "Phenomenal Woman" and "Touched by an Angel" hit so close to home, I'm still trembling. I reprinted "Phenomenal Woman" earlier, below a copy of "Touched by an Angel", which I read for the first time after I reprinted "Phenomenal Woman". Let me highlight two of its most beautiful lines:

Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Below the full version:

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Touched By An Angel - Maya Angelou

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