The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

May 29, 2014

Words will live forever

Death claimed one of America’s most beloved and important poets recently as news came of the passing Maya Angelou, 86.

Her story of survival serves as an inspiration to all. She lived a hard childhood, which included sexual abuse, and took whatever job she could as a single mother — including working in a strip club — to support her child.

From that hard-knock start came words of hope and encouragement. She wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” about her abusive childhood. She became an actress, earning an Emmy nomination for 1977’s “Roots.” And she continued to write in all forms.

While death has stilled her pen, her words will live forever.

Her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” was written for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. It’s call for harmony still resonates:

“Here on the pulse of this new day

“You may have the grace to look up and out

“And into your sister’s eyes, into

“Your brother’s face, your country

“and say simply

“Very simply

“With hope

“Good morning”

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