Touched by an Angel



Marguerite Johnson was born in a segregated area of St. Louis, Arkansas in 1928 and died on May 28, 2014. After her parent’s divorce, she and her brother Bailey were sent to go live with their grandmother. Marguerite and Bailey had a close relationship as children and Bailey was the person that gave her the name of “Maya”. On a visit to her mother’s, Angelou was raped at age seven by her mother’s boyfriend. Angelou was very ashamed about this event and did not want to talk about it. One day her mother’s brother found out and he went and killed the man who raped Angelou. At age 22, she married Tosh Angelou, though marriage did not last but a couple of years. To support herself, she had to get jobs as a waitress, cook, and a night club singer. Later on in her life, she started reading work by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and she became interested in writing, so she moved to New York and joined Harlem Writers Guild. Angelou has written many poems that she has won many awards for.

Maya Angelou


Touched by an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Maya Angelou

Tocados por un Angel

Nosotros, desacostumbrados al coraje
exiliados del deleite
viviendo arrollados en caparazones de soledad
hasta que el amor sale alto en el santo templo
y viene a nuestra vista
a liberarnos dentro de la vida.

El amor llega
y es un tren de éxtasis
viejos recuerdos de placer
antiguas historias de dolor.
Todavía si somos atrevidos,
el amor golpea las cadenas del miedo
de nuestras almas.

Nosotros detestamos nuestra timidez
En el rubor de la luz del amor
nos atrevemos a ser valientes
Y de repente vemos
que el costo del amor somos nosotros
y siempre lo seremos.
A pesar de ser sólo el amor
el que nos libera.

Maya Angelou


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