"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ode to Maya Angelou

At the ceremony where she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2011


Ode to Maya Angelou
by Anne Bennett

Maya Angelou passed from this earth today
But her influence on it will last forever.
She gave voice to anyone who tries,
to better her lot in life,
to find a voice when it is rusty from disuse,
to find peace among the clutter we make of our lives.

Maya Angelou who was born poor in a racist place,
who dropped out of high school,
who was the first black and female streetcar conductor in San Fran,
who wrote about being raped and the birth of her son,
who sang and danced on stage,
who read poems for Presidents.

Dr. Angelou, as she prefered to be called,
held over 30 honorary degrees,
earned the Presidential Medal of Honor,
yet she reminded us that we need to be humble,
loving, and kind to one and all, not puffed up and proud.
Her last tweet sums up so much of her life:
"Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God."

Thank you for sharing your life with us. Rest in peace.

*********************************************************************
I love the poem "When Great Trees Fall" by Maya Angelou. Now upon rereading it I am struck anew by how it is appropriate on this day when Maya Angelou has departed us. Soon we will whisper to ourselves "[She] existed. [She] existed. We can be. Be and be better. For [she] existed."
*******************************************************************

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou
 
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.



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