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

  • Edmund Strolis (6/3/2018 10:13:00 AM)

    A marcher forever looking over your shoulder toward the ever-receding past will never see your destination and the present possibilities will always be missed. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/28/2018 1:11:00 PM)

    poems are dumb just like your mum you have no life pls cut your self with a knife (Report) Reply

  • Beach Girl (11/28/2017 11:35:00 AM)

    Glorious poem, full of pain and joy, hurt and healing. Her words are an inspiration to everyone. (Report) Reply

  • (11/27/2017 7:24:00 AM)

    she is wonderful poet we are so blessed with her (Report) Reply

  • (6/24/2017 10:48:00 AM)

    Claps Claps Claps. amazing write (Report) Reply

  • Shah Surja (11/26/2015 1:56:00 PM)

    The ancestors remind us, despite the
    history of pain
    We are a going-on people who will
    rise again.
    And still we rise.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/9/2015 3:13:00 AM)

    May Maya's words continue to speak of legacy's child who must pass on, but whose messages never die. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (10/16/2015 7:01:00 PM)

    she is a well-loved and respected voice in literature, a strong voice, a compassionate voice, a thoughtful voice... we have all been blessed by her life and poetry (Report) Reply

    Edmund Strolis (6/3/2018 10:16:00 AM)

    Oh Zuzan reading this poem and knowing your passion for riding isn't it obvious when a dead horse has been beaten to death? ........a big yawn from me.

  • Hebert Logerie Sr. (10/16/2015 9:45:00 AM)

    We are like a spring, which cannot go down. We are like the sun, which cannot go down; we are like the moon, which cannot go down. We will NOT disappear; and still we will rise. Toussaint Louverture, our great General, was right. The roots will spring everywhere; and the seeds have been spread all over the world. We will rise again, again, like Africa, like America. We are the world, because the world came from us. (Report) Reply

  • Bharati Nayak (10/16/2015 8:52:00 AM)

    Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
    We are going- on people who will rise again

    And still we rise- - - -The indomitable spirit to rise is profoundly expressed.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2015 7:40:00 AM)

    Very touching and inhuman experiences through which the freedom fighters passed have been nicely narrated. Hats off. Ten points. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/16/2015 5:13:00 AM)

    The history of pain. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (10/16/2015 1:56:00 AM)

    going on people who will rise again.. (Report) Reply

  • Lopamudra Mishra (8/12/2015 12:42:00 AM)

    Al o f her poems cry for the exitsing system, great. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 5:09:00 PM)

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

  • 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

  • Khubaib Mujtaba (5/21/2013 10:57:00 AM)

    good and nice
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/26/2012 12:03:00 PM)

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

  • (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

  • Gajanan Mishra (1/30/2012 9:49:00 AM)

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

Read all 29 comments »

User Rating:
3,9 / 5 ( 213 votes ) 27

What do you think this poem is about?

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

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]