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Monday, November 24, 2014

Maya Angelou dies at 86: Here’s her Olympic poem

Maya-AngelouWorld famous author Maya Angelou died on Wednesday at the age of 86. She had reportedly been battling health issues for some time.

Angelou is one of the most influential authors to have ever lived. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. In 2008, the US Olympic Committee asked Angelou to write a poem about the Olympics. She shared it again on Facebook during the 2012 London Olympics. The poem is entitled “Amazement Awaits.”

Sheer amazement awaits
Amazement luxuriant in promise
Abundant in wonder
Our beautiful children arrive at this Universal stadium
They have bathed in the waters of the world
And carry the soft silt of the Amazon, the Nile,
The Danube, the Rhine, the Yangtze and the Mississippi
In the palms of their right hands.
A wild tiger nestles in each armpit
And a meadowlark perches on each shoulder.
We, the world audience, stand, arms akimbo,
Longing for the passion of the animal
And the melody of the lark
The tigers passion attend the opening bells,
The birds sing of the amazement which awaits.
The miracle of joy that comes out of the gathering of our best, bringing their best,
Displaying the splendor of their bodies and the radiance of their agile minds to the cosmos.
Encouragement to those other youth caught in the maws of poverty,
Crippled by the terror of ignorance.
They say Brothers and Sisters, Yes, try. Then try harder.
Lunge forward, press eagerly for release.
The amazement which awaits is for you.
We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can compete passionately without hatred.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can take pride in the achievement of strangers.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can share openly in the success of friends.
Here then is the Amazement
Against the odds of impending war
In the mouth of bloody greed
Human grace and human spirit can still conquer.
Ah … We discover, we ourselves
Are the Amazement which awaits
We are ourselves Amazement.

Angelou had a way with words that inspired millions of people. This was arguably her most famous quote.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Our thoughts are with Angelou’s friends and family.

H/T Nick Zaccardi



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