Celebrate Maya Angelou (and Love) with this Luscious Poem

Maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it felt like everyone everywhere mourned the death of Maya Angelou yesterday—and understandably so. Angelou managed to balance a path as a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil rights activist, producer and director. Oh, and she won countless awards for her work. Also impressive? Former president Bill Clinton asked her to write and read a poem at his 1993 inauguration. Obviously this is a huge honor, but when reading Angelou's words, it's clear why Clinton selected her.

The life and accomplishments of Angelou are far too extensive for us to do her justice today, so instead we'd like to focus on the power of her words in one of our favorite poems of hers, "Touched by an Angel" (not to be confused with the cheesy popular 90s TV show). Like much of Angelou's fine work, it elegantly captures the fear and beauty inherent to love.

Angelou may have passed, but it's comforting to know we'll always have her words to turn to for inspiration and insight.

Touched By An Angel

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.

Image: Lovely smile. RIP. Courtesy of, Facebook


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