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Ode to Maya Angelou

For over 60 years Maya Angelou has been woven into the fabric of the Black American Experience through her witty wisdom and lifetime of personal experience. We bid farewell to a literary icon and the most noted poet of our time.

A Phenomenal Woman
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

At a time when it was unthinkable for blacks to seek out education and grow into intellectuals and scholars, it was Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson who defied all the odds. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie.

Ms. Angelou has been called, "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton and America’s voice of wisdom. Her memory will live on in the lives of not only little black girls, but throughout history as a recognizable voice to count on as time continues to keep moving.

The following is a mash-up of 28 published poems by Maya Angelou. Each title is a click through so that poems may be read. This poem is entitled Ode to Maya Angelou …

The Brave and Startling truth of the matter is that Maya Angelou in the flesh has gone on; A Conceit of inner strength that once was is no more. A plagued journey of 17 years watching and learning, that’s how I know why the Caged Bird Sings – left feeling some kind of way, and all Alone.

So young, but bold and willing to go – an awakening was happening and is Awaking in New York on one hand and a California Prodigal on the other – going, going, gone with no sleep like an Insomniac at the wheel falling asleep.

These, are the many, my Kin, the Men who inspired the Million Man March Poem and woman on Momma Welfare Roll – it was one of those trying times On the Pulse of Morning just Passing Time as a Phenomenal Woman and her Refusal to be beaten in darkness of the mind and strong enough not to give up - after being tore up from the floor up on a beat down – Still I Rise … I keep climbing to the top, and at the top of The Detached beckons calling to fall … That’s The Lesson, the Remembrance of me.

Mya Angelou was laid to rest on Saturday June 7, 2014 at Wake Forest University. You can watch live (recorded version), here on the university website. Here is where you will also find many condolences and a previously recorded video of home going services, which included First Lady Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey:

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