Jan 19 2009

Maya Angelou – Touched by an Angel

Published by at 9:00 am under Poetry

Touched by an Angel
by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.


/ Photo by Steve Punter /

Something today by the great Maya Angelou in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday…

Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

But to fully honor King’s legacy, remember the whole man, and not just the comfortable myth fed to us. Remember all his words and all he fought for. Culturally, we like to package Rev. King neatly into the role of activist for racial justice. He was that, profoundly. But King’s vision and heart expanded to encompass so much more. He saw clearly that racial injustice was also economic injustice, so he worked to create a society that cared for its poorest. He pointed out that a society that wasted its money on wars, had little left in it collective heart or pocketbook to help those in need, so he became a staunch anti-war activist.

King’s was an activism for the whole soul of the nation. When you hear one of his great speeches today, remember how far his words reverberated into all aspects of society.

And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Have a beautiful day!

Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Maya Angelou

US (1928 – )
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Maya Angelou

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Maya Angelou – Touched by an Angel”

  1. Letitia Snydermanon 19 Jan 2009 at 2:45 pm

    There are giants walking amongst us. Giants of courage, spirit and love. Oh what this world, this dream of life, would look like if we didn’t have their footprints to stand in -to guide us home to best of ourselves.

  2. sam hartmanon 19 Jan 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Fear has only the power I choose to give it. If I do not feed it, it ceases to exist. Dr. King and Gandhi knew the shadow power of fear; thank God for their light.

  3. Ravi Naickeron 30 Jul 2009 at 9:45 am

    I’ve always admired Angelou for her profound poetry. She brings light to those in darkness; food for the hungry; knowledge to the ignorant; love to the discarded and hope to the despondent. I’ve had the privelidge of teaching her poem,’On Aging’. My students liked her simple rhetoric and wit. People of such a calibre are a real find in this materialistic and ever changing world. May God shower His richest blessings upon the grandmother who is aging with grace. I love you Grandma Angelou.

  4. saraon 24 Nov 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Do you know where this poem was originally published?