The tributes to poet/American treasure Maya Angelou continued to pour in on Wednesday, just hours after the 86-year-old “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” author’s body was found in her North Carolina home.
Angelou, the author of 36 books and a high school dropout who earned more than 30 honorary degrees, was one of just five poets to speak at a presidential inauguration. Her poem at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, “On the Pulse of Morning,” encapsulated her gift for writing that captured the struggle and triumph of the human spirit. “I am the Tree planted by the River/Which will not be moved,” she wrote. “I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree/I am yours–your Passages have been paid/Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need/For this bright morning dawning for you.”
For those, and many other inspirational words and deeds, she was honored by everyone from Snoop Dogg to Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige and fellow author J.K. Rowling. Rihanna was so moved, in fact, that she changed her Twitter icon to a photo of Angelou.
— will.i.am (@iamwill) May 29, 2014
Carey said she was “so honored and humbled to have been able to meet and speak with the legendary Dr. Maya Angelou,” thanking Oprah Winfrey for making the intro to “one of the world’s most invaluable treasures. Ms. Angelou’s spirit was beautiful..majestic..powerful and pure. Her words will be remembered and they will live on and continue to uplift and heal millions of souls. Rest with the angels.”
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." – Maya Angelou.
— Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) May 28, 2014
RIP Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), you were truly an inspiration. Re-tweet to show respect. pic.twitter.com/gQOwrJ8awN
— Kevin Hart (@ItsKevinHart) May 28, 2014
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) May 28, 2014
"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." Maya Angelou – who was utterly amazing.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 28, 2014
Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, for your wonderful words and wisdom. Rest in peace.
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) May 28, 2014
A woman phenomenally. And, one of humankind's greatest souls… #RIPMayaAngelou
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) May 29, 2014
All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.- Maya Angelou
— Robin Thicke (@robinthicke) May 29, 2014
We're saddened by the passing of our friend Maya Angelou. Thank you for all you've done, and for all the hugs. pic.twitter.com/kmLCN59Uef
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) May 28, 2014