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A Tribute to Maya Angelou

June 4, 2014


Bridgemaker:  A Tribute to Maya Angelou


(April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014)



by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Thank you for all the bridges you built

in your storied 86 years.

Oh, treasured Bridgemaker,

how you crafted

each bridge to which

not dust, but a dream adheres!


Renaissance woman of the real world–

bridges riveted with rainbows,

bridges made of mortar boards,

bridges designed with pages of poetry and pillars of prose

were all your forte.


Memoirist extraordinaire–

with high honors,

you can dance and sing your way

across all the bridges

whose lands, hands, minds, and memoirs

you judiciously joined together

in one magnificent, glowing,

phenomenal life.


Statuesque Queen of Poetry–

one of the highlights of my little life

was watching you, hearing you

on the stage of Milwaukee’s

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

How you womanufactured

so creatively, gently, and expertly

a bridge between that strong stage

and the sell-out audience!

The atmosphere was on the pulse of a Milwaukee morning

and swelled with your grace and grandeur.

Surely, you realized how awestruck we were

as you held us in the palm of your poetic hand.

Certainly, you sensed how we bowed to your majesty

and applauded your panoramic brilliance.

Your wondrous way

of reciting your poems with the poems of others,

your melodious manner of telling stories,

your combining your memorable and superb

speaking voice with your singing voice

are recorded on my creative soul forever.

Being in the audience of one of your phenomenal performances

was one of the greatest privileges of my life.


Thank you

for being the Bridgemaker

who brought together

and embraced with gallant words

so many people

in this poetic world.


written on May 29, 2014


posted on June 4, 2014, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. I think Maya Angelou herself would treasure this impressive tribute written by you, Alice!
    Love, Mary

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