I Rise with Maya: #sol15 5/31

I’ve been waking up most mornings with nothing to write about. Calmly, I start clicking around the web, reading fresh Slices or clicking around my websites. Facebook was my treasure chest today. I found Maya Angelou this lit up and watched and listened to her share her I RISE poem twice, with eyes closed.

Years ago, when I was teaching in Pearl River and traveling to New York City, every Monday night for the 92nd St.Y’s Poetry Center, one night my friend Hilda and I feasted on a surprise performance by Maya Angelou for two of the fastest hours of my life. A feast of Maya Angelou, dancing around the stage, singing, sharing poetry, talking with us, and everything came from her mind, no notes.

Maya Angelou got into my head and heart that night and she’s never left me. I went home and started reading everything she wrote-all the books in her memoir series, every book of her poetry. She became my fantasy friend and I became her champion.

I’m sitting in our living room and watching the snow falling, AGAIN and I’m back with Hilda applauding Maya, hoping she will keep sharing her golden nuggets with us, encore after encore until she waves, disappears, the stage lights dim and there’s silence as we exit the auditorium slowly and head for home.

I’m sure that if I call Hilda right now, so many years later, she could return with me to relive that night with Maya Angelou. So after I finish this Slice first I’m going back to You Tube to reconnect with Maya and that gem of a night and then Hilda will be my first call.

I RISE!!!!

10 thoughts

  1. Beautiful. A few years ago I took my granddaughter Mayaoel to see Maya Angelou speak at Chico State. She was old and infirm then, didn’t get up from her chair at all, but her voice and spirit were strong. She inspired us with her words. After the show we followed her bus out of town, just because we could. I hope my granddaughter always remembers that one evening she was in the presence of this great woman.

  2. Oh, she was mesmerizing, wasn’t she?! I’ve heard and read this poem so many times, and it STILL brings tears to my eyes. I got to see Maya at Miami University when I was in college 25 years ago, and I remember sitting in my seat after the performance was over, stunned, not wanting to get up and leave. She was so fabulous. It was a great loss to the world when she left us. Thank you so much for sharing this today!

  3. I love to listen to her poems with my eyes closed too. 🙂 And I picture the words, floating around. Such a beautiful person!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


"writing is the painting of the voice" -Voltaire-

Tammy L. Breitweiser

writer * educator * reader

lit bits and pieces

Snippets of learning and life


a motherhood community for moms who do it all


This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Crawling Out of the Classroom

In everything that my students and I do together, we strive to find ways to use reading and writing to make the world outside of our classroom a better place for all of us to be

Lisa's Ramblings: Random Thoughts on the World We Live In...


Freeing the Writer Within

As I See It

Observations on Life

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Haddon Musings

There are 11,507 stories in Haddonfield; this is one of them.

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Just Let Me Teach

MrsWp, ELA Teacher


How to stay sane studying to become a teacher, and eventually, during your first years (when I get there!)


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

%d bloggers like this: