Powerful, strong and inspiring; Maya Angelou’s unique voice brought hope and truth to the world during her lifetime. HWP salutes this distinctive American poet, writer and activist during National Poetry Month, 2019.
Born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, Angelou’s career spanned more than fifty years. During this period, she published seven autobiographies, three volumes of essays, several books of poetry, plays, movies and television programs.
She was awarded more than fifty honorary degrees, numerous awards and the highest civilian honor in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom; presented to her by President Barak Obama in 2011. In 1993, President Bill Clinton invited her to compose and read a poem for his inauguration. “On the Pulse of the Morning” was broadcast live around the world.
Her first book, “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was published in 1970 and brought her to the attention of the country and the world. Writing of her childhood growing up as a black child in a small southern town through her young adult experiences during the early days of the Civil Right Movement to the birth of her first child, Angelou captured the hearts and the attention of people everywhere. Her earthy and common-sense ability to comment on life and personal dignity, especially reached women of every color and economic background.
HWP honors the gracious and talented woman who shared her vision of hope, love and respect to all peoples of the world. Ms. Angelou died on May 28, 2014 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Spring’s Hymn of Eternal Hope
SPRING! Poets, Optimists, Artists, Prophets, Romantics, Conservationists, Mothers, Souls, Fairies, Druids, Children & Fools all come together to praise the birth of all things living in this delightful season of awakening and forgiveness. We all dance to the rhythm of the warm wind together. For a moment our voices mingle in harmony with the birds. Worms, butterflies and bees glint in the sun like the lights on a stage. Our senses dazzle in the magic, the science, the eternity. The fragrant smell of photosynthesis and pollen intoxicate as we marvel that “Hope DOES Spring Eternal.” As we fall dizzy to the cool ,damp ground under a verdant tree; a tear of gratitude pools. We whisper ” shh We are not forsaken. Spring, she came again.” We fall asleep to the lullaby “Imagine” and a new season awakens to the poetry of John Lennon.
April is National Poetry Month & Earth Day is April 22, 2019. We Honor both The Earth and The Art of Poetry All Year at HWP!
photos and thoughts By Betsy Bridges-Keese