Maya Angelou's Death

Maya Angelou's Death

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Overview

Maya Angelou was an award-winning American author, poet and actress best known for her series of autobiographies, including the critically acclaimed I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and other literary contributions to the civil rights movement. In late May 2014, Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86.

Background

Maya Angelou[1] died on May 28th, 2014, in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her death was confirmed by the town’s mayor’s office and her literary agent that morning. Angelou sent out her final tweet[3] on May 23rd, and in less than a week it gained over 50,000 retweets and over 30,000 favorites.



Writing Career

Over the course of her literary career spanning over four decades, Angelou won dozens of awards and nominations[2], including a National Book Award nomination and a Coretta Scott King Honor for her first autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1970 and a Pulitzer nomination for her poetry collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie in 1972. Angelou was chosen as the Inaugural Poet for the inauguration ceremony of President Bill Clinton in 1993. She also received numerous awards in the fields outside of literature, including over 30 honorary doctoral degrees, three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album in 1993, 1995, and 2002 and a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1974

Notable Developments

Online Reaction

Shortly after the news of her death broke, Angelou’s friends and fans took to Twitter to express their sadness over her passing, including a long list of celebrities and politicians who shared some of her most memorable quotes in remembrance of the poet. In less than 24 hours, the hashtag #MayaAngelou[4] was tweeted out over 160,000 times, and the keyword “Maya Angelou” was searched more than 2 million times on Google.





Angelou’s Quotes

Many websites remembered Angelou’s passing by publishing collections of inspirational quotes attributed to the author, including BuzzFeed’s[5][6] “12 Must-See Video Clips Of Maya Angelou” and “21 Life-Changing Tweets From Maya Angelou,” Mother Jones’[7] “7 Pieces of Timeless Wisdom From Maya Angelou,” the Huffington Post’s[8] “9 Inspiring Maya Angelou Poems You Can Read Online” and Mashable’s[10] “10 Maya Angelou Quotes That Will Lift You Up,” among many others.[9][11]



Search Interest


External References

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Top Comments

Platus
Platus

Caged Bird

By Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

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