I was so sad to hear about the death of Maya Angelou last week. And yet, I found myself rejoicing her life and legacy. I think that’s a tribute to the kind of person she was. I’m thankful for her life and influence and words. Oh, her words!
They brought me comfort and strength and gave me confidence. They brought me to tears and made me smile.
Maya Angelou has been talked about several times on this blog. How could she not? I wrote about her on the Putting on the New blog this past weekend as well, because she was more than a poet, she was someone that helped me see how much God loved me.
Her name, her words, her advice, are mentioned a lot in this house. I talk about them a lot, and now my family does. I especially like “When you know better, you do better” and my husband loves “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
Pop Culture and Reading Her Work
Maya Angelou also showed up in pop culture. When these lines:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
from her poem “Still I Rise” were read in a Lebron James commercial a couple years ago, I pulled out a book I had and read that poem to my husband, who hadn’t yet heard it. Because when you hear one or two lines from Maya Angelou, it just isn’t enough. Plus, that wasn’t the first time I read him a Maya Angelou poem.
Lists of My Favorite Things
When I thought about the coolest things that could possibly happen to me, having Maya Angelou read me a poem was right up there at the top of the list. And perhaps most of all, she’s a big part of my story in how I came to poetry.
The Legacy Lives On
One of the most remarkable things that can happen is when you die, people are sad but yet thrilled that they knew you, had you here on earth. They celebrate all that you brought to this life instead of mourn your death, because your influence was so large it exists in our books and the words we use and the way we treat each other.
Maya Angelou was that kind of spirit.