"You beloved guardian of sacred poetry, rest now. Leave us to study and remember."
On May 28, 2014, Dr. Maya Angelou died at the age of 86.
She was a lot of things in her life: a poet, an artist, a writer, a dancer, a teacher. But she will always be known by countless people around the world for her wise, healing words.
Words she wrote:
"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.
...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."
— Still I Rise
Words she spoke:
Even words she tweeted:
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
Dr. Maya was, at her core, a poet.
And while she meant a lot of things to many famous people — from former presidents and world leaders to the one and only Oprah perhaps — one of the greatest legacies she left behind is the inspiration she gave to the poets who came after her.
Around the time of her death, the words of those very famous people filled the airwaves.
But this performance by poet Natalie Patterson via SoulPancake is one of the most powerful tributes I've seen. Take a look:
It's amazing how Maya Angelou has inspired so many people in so many different ways.
As we remember Maya Angelou today, we'll leave you with these words from Natalie's poem:
"One day soon, I know, out of habit, You will scribble a poem across the sky for us. We will know it was you. It has always been you, Doctor, Maya Angelou."