She Didn't Come to Stay...

June 04, 2014

But while she was here, she had a profound influence on so many.

I heard Maya Angelou speak in Tampa a few years ago, and while I don’t remember her exact words, I remember the feeling I left with—the feeling that life was a precious gift, and we should live it to the fullest. She was funny and wise and just…amazing.

I’ve only read the first volume of her autobiography (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), but I have a couple more on my TBR shelf (the title of this post is a variation on the last line of her final autobiographical volume, A Song Flung Up to Heaven) and a volume of her poetry.

In remembrance of Maya Angelou, who died May 28 at age 86, here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“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’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are more alike than we are unalike.”

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

“Some critics will write, ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’—which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.”

“I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare.”

Click below to see Dr. Angelou recite her poem, “Still I Rise.”