Maya Angelou has passed. No writer–of poetry or other– has had such a profound influence on me the way Ms. Angelou has. The reason for this is that I had the opportunity to hear her recite her poem, Still I Rise, at a book festival a few years ago. Never, never, have any words, read or heard, moved me to tears the way hers did that day. That is what a writer should do to her readers: move them. Her words were on fire, and she lit a fire in me.
I found a recitation of that poem (somewhat modified for an occasion) here, starting at 5 minutes, 23 seconds:
And you can read the poem here.