Maya Angelou , Quotes & Poems

Dr. Maya Angelou is a celebrated poet, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.

She is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton.

She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.

In 2001 Maya Angelou was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal.



Quotes by Angelou Maya

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.

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You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.

Don't make money your goal.

Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.

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I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.

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My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

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One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.

Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.

We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

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Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently.

You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.


If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?

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I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

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Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud.

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You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise!

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You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats,

so you can know who you are,

what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

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I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, "I love you."

There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.


Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I'm telling lies.

I say

It's in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman, That's me.

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Still I Rise

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise."

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