Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Morning Reading: "Lift up your eyes upon/The day breaking for you"

President Obama presents Medal of Freedom to poet Maya Angelou

His remarks:

As a girl, Marguerite Ann Johnson endured trauma and abuse that actually led her to stop speaking. But as a performer, and ultimately a writer, a poet, Maya Angelou found her voice. It’s a voice that’s spoken to millions, including my mother, which is why my sister is named Maya. (Laughter.)

By holding on, even amid cruelty and loss, and then expanding to a sense of compassion, an ability to love -- by holding on to her humanity -- she has inspired countless others who have known injustice and misfortune in their own lives. I won’t try to say it better than Maya Angelou herself, who wrote that:

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

Dr. Maya Angelou. Out of a youth marked by pain and injustice, Dr. Maya Angelou rose with an unbending determination to fight for civil rights and inspire every one of us to recognize and embrace the possibility and potential we each hold.

With her soaring poetry, towering prose and mastery of a range of art forms, Dr. Angelou has spoken to the conscience of our nation. Her soul-stirring words have taught us how to reach across division and honor the beauty of our world.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

the other L

Lou said...

"History cannot be unlived"--love that.

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