Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Million Man March Poem - Poem by Maya Angelou

The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach,
I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound,
You couldn't even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I,
But unfortunately throughout history
You've worn a badge of shame.

I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have been steep.

But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another,
Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place,
The old ones remind us that slavery's chains
Have paid for our freedom again and again.

The night has been long,
The pit has been deep,
The night has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

The hells we have lived through and live through still,
Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish
Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise,
And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.

I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let's leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.

The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise.


Comments about Million Man March Poem by Maya Angelou

  • Rookie - 118 Points Brian Jani (4/26/2014 5:09:00 PM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out  (Report) Reply

    15 person liked.
    16 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 4,099 Points Patricia Grantham (6/17/2013 8:59:00 AM)

    Chains have been broken and wounds have been
    healed. Remembering the past and looking forward
    to the future. We all shall rise together once more.
    A great worthy write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 32 Points Khubaib Mujtaba (5/21/2013 10:57:00 AM)

    Perfect
    good and nice (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Soulistical The Poet (5/26/2012 12:03:00 PM)

    Oh my god, I love it.. Very lovely (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ladawn Trice (3/13/2012 10:16:00 AM)

    truth, pain, love and understanding rains in this piece... things we need to do and still have yet to do, but we are learning to do, and i will be very proud when we do (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 34,112 Points Gajanan Mishra (1/30/2012 9:49:00 AM)

    A Fine piece of poem. congratulation.
    gajanan mishra (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 13 Points Funmi Anonymous (6/5/2009 8:15:00 AM)

    Lord have mercy...tears fill my eyes as I read this poem...conveys empowerment in all who reads... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Mel Vincent Basconcillo (5/1/2009 11:52:00 PM)

    this is truly one of the all time greats! i love this poem! so profound and so true! amazing! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nana H. Ibrahim (6/4/2007 6:32:00 AM)

    and higher we shall keep rising! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nana H. Ibrahim (6/4/2007 6:05:00 AM)

    and higher we shall keep rising! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ayisha Ibrahim (9/14/2006 9:46:00 PM)

    For everyone else the peom is a good one cos you are a great poet
    But for someone who comes from almost the same background as you;
    A contenent of slavery: Africa
    The emotion and meaning is quite clear
    For our ancestors didn't suffer in vain.
    Still We Rise! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Samuel Nze (8/18/2006 1:12:00 PM)

    Can you hear my own share of the clapping, Maya? I tell you I am dancing too! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 4 Points David Mccreadie (12/20/2004 7:39:00 AM)

    When I read a poem or hear a song that makes me breakout in goosepimples, I know I've stumbled on something special. Thank you Maya. (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »




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Read poems about / on: history, together, beach, dark, family, freedom, night, today, joy, people, pain, sky, poem, rose, wind



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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