One Writer Remembers: Dr. Maya Angelou

Author Valerie Woods shares a beautiful memory in honor of the legendary Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away this morning at age 86.

Dr. Maya Angelou, January 2014.

Dr. Maya Angelou, January 2014.

Blessings and so much love to Dr. Maya Angelou on her final journey. During my tenure on Touched By An Angel I was honored that Dr. Angelou would appear in one of my episodes. Her character on the show, as in her remarkable life, was as a poet. There was a place in the script where her character was to write a poem. On the set one morning a PA called on the radio to say that Dr. Angelou wanted to see me. I found her sitting at a patio table, a pen and her sides for the day in her hand. She leaned over and almost whispered “I’ve finished it. Let me read it to you.” And then she read, the ink fresh from her fountain pen, what she had written on the margins of her script:

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.

–Maya Angelou

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