Maya Angelou was one of those rare poetesses who inspired a large segment of humanity by her wit and wisdom. Nikki Giovanni remembered the late and great verse-maker upon her recent demise.
Maya Angelou passed away on Wednesday at the ripe old age of 86. Her fellow poetess, Nikki Giovanni reminisced about her friend who was a living legend in a recent interview.
She presented a recording of the late poetess’s words which echoed through time as the traces of a sensitive and vulnerable yet strong soul.
Maya Angelou said, "Many people wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model size. When I start to tell them, they think I'm telling lies. I say, it's in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, the stride of my step, the curl of my lips. I am a woman. Phenomenally."
Maya spoke vividly of how her bodily dimensions were not very special. Yet she was a representative of womankind on earth. And not just a woman but a phenomenal woman since she had fought her way up to become a wordsmith and word-player that stirred souls with her magical flowing lines.
Nikki spoke later on of how death is a natural phenomenon and that Maya was a fighter who lived each moment as if it was her last.
"I must say in all sadness, Maya's passing is not a shock. And you know, we've known it's only been her phenomenal will - speaking of phenomenal - that has kept her active. Many a lesser person, you know, considering her health - it's not her age but her health - would've given up.
But Maya lived every moment. I've had to laugh recently that - and a couple of hours ago, I said I don't know anybody - and I really don't - who has gotten as much out of life as Maya Angelou," Nikki Giovanni told NPR’s Michel Martin.
Nikki and Maya go way back to the times that took place 40 years ago. They had always been fast friends and inseparable sidekicks. Maya’s strength and fortitude in the face of adversity and harrowing conditions were absolutely admirable to the extreme.
Despite being sexually abused by a person who was killed later on she managed to emerge from the pain unscathed. She was always a brave and resolute woman who fought for her basic rights in a man’s world.
Giovanni recounted some of the details regarding her and Maya. The portrait she painted of the late poetess is one that is heartwarming and a symbol of hope for all the downtrodden and dispossessed.
Maya overcame tough circumstances in her childhood and literally pulled herself up by her boot straps. Maya’s love of truth was pure and passionate.
She never got stuck in the factoid world of today. She sought the real essence of things. And as a seeker of the core experiences of life, she even discarded that dead shell known as modesty.
Nikki praised Maya and said that though she was dead, her spirit will live on since she had brought smiles on the faces of so many people who had read her poems.