Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

RIP Maya Angelou ...

Author, poet, civil rights activist, performer, historian, 
songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer,
director, singer and survivor.
Maya made her mark on the world.

VJ read 'I know Why the Caged Bird Sings' in her early teens.
Inspired, she read the rest and has returned to them many times since.  

Maya was smart, strong and sassy.  
She survived horrors.
Her words lived with VJ through tough times and troubled times.

And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
 I rise. 



Kizzy Von Doll said...

She was something else, such a amazing light....I'm just happy that I lived in the time she lived, to witness her amazing spirit, that I know will live on forever in all our hearts and minds. Just incredible!! xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


Just the news broadcasts I heard yesterday and the articles I've read are a testimony in poetry of her life. This is why we write.

WILLIE........! =^..^= said...

"Try and be a rainbow in someone's cloud".
"Nothing will work, unless you do".

Kickin ass..Is brilliant! Love It!
This Soul Sister has meant a lot to me too!
Lovely ..Lovely lady...The first thing l fell in love with, was her voice! That! Soulful sexy voice...!
And, she goes way..way back..Even to Gospel...!
At least, her memories are on line, for me...Deep down...Bless her!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

She was one amazing woman, I read all her books as a young woman myself and she helped shape who I am, and what I believe. The world is a better place because she was in it xxx

Amy at love made my home said...

I had not read either of these poems before, but the words are so powerful and true. Thank you for reminding us of these thoughts. xx

Stephanie Gaunt said...

What an amazing woman. She has inspired me to try to write poetry.

Rosemary said...

A wonderful women who had herself overcome so much - racism and trauma, but was brimming over with humanity - I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

Thank you for sharing Maya's powerful words here!!!
xxxxxxx ale

Greenorchid said...

A truly amazing, courageous woman indeed... I too found her in my teens through a copy of Spare Rib an older sister of a friend gave me... she woke me up to the abuse I had endured as a child... I spoke out at 16 and by 19 had started ISIS (Incest Survivors In Strength) in London with another woman. She will be missed... Cx

The Custards said...

Yes indeed - someone special. I adore poetry and poetry that sings a message is extra special
Best wishes

Daisy Jones said...

Oh no!
The world is smaller without her...

I did not know she had died so thank you for this thoughtful post and news....Daisy j x

Kizzy Von Doll said...

Hiya doll, saw your comment. Strange I am a no-reply blogger as I had changed that, I thought. Do you need my email for gmail (thedollshouse79@gmail.com) or my blog's yahoo email (daintydollshouse@yahoo.com) Hopefully this will help. Have a gorgeous weekend doll xx

Art and Sand said...

One of my favorite Maya Angelou stories was one I used in a lesson with my students. The gist is her explanation to her young son why she doesn't dress like all the other mothers. I used it for Socratic Seminar discussions and her words made the kids think and open up about their own lives.

She was wonderful!

JJ said...

I dropped by to say hello! I have been absent from blogging for a while, and I did miss your posts. It’s good to be back.

nilly said...

I wonder if she's on the school curriculum - if not, she should be!
I'd write to Michael Gove about it but I'm not sure he'd get Maya.