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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

REMEMBERING MAYA ANGELOU ~ Wednesday morning Special Edition, May 28, 2014

This is a special edition. The Guide also has another, separate, edition with today's music news and events and this week's and weekend's music festivals.



by Larry Wines

"She never seemed to have an inconsequential thought, someone observed of her," noted Brian Williams of NBC.

And, oh, how those thoughts of hers translated into words.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

"I love this quote from Maya Angelou," says western musician Ray Doyle.

When I attended the inauguration of Bill Clinton, it was important to the new president to include Maya Angelou reading a most appropriate poem, written for the occasion. No president had invited a poet since JFK had Robert Frost recite one of his originals. Her poem was, "On the Pulse of Morning." (Excerpt below.)

Maya Angelou, who was a singer and recording artist in the 1950s, became the renowned poet and author who would win three Grammys for recorded readings of her books. Along the way, she became an iconic civil rights activist and personal friend of both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And throughout it all, as one news source declared, she brought "the unmistakably regal voice." Maya Angelou died today, May 28, at the age of 86.

She wrote more than 30 books, including her biggest bestseller, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

This morning, Roxy Riggs reminded me of the Angelou quote, "a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."

Poet Laureate of the United States Maya Angelou had many songs that took the forms of poetic prose, and they remain as her gifts to us and the future.

Excerpt from "On the Pulse of Morning"


A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the
Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow,
I will give you no hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness
Have lain too long
Facedown in ignorance,
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out to us today,
You may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.


Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning” (excerpt) from On the Pulse of Morning. Copyright © 1993 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House Audio Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)


WRDW-TV News 12 Poet and author Maya Angelou died at age 86, as reported by CBS News. Details at:

Much more, including today's events and this weekend's music festivals, in a complete edition later today.

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