This month I would like to honor the art of poetry and the contributions made by those who share their craft.  As a young girl, I found that when I was struggling through a hard time and could not find the words, I could sit and write to express my own thoughts. It was easier to put pen to paper than to verbally express my feelings.  And often, those writings came out as poetry.   

 As a school age child, writing was difficult. When I was given an assignment, it was taxing to find the words to fill a paper.  But if the assignment were poetry, I found that if I could just start with that one line, the rest would come easily.  I can remember feeling the excitement when the instructor would ask us to write a haiku, or even better, to write some form of a lyrical poem.  You see, lyric poetry draws on our feelings and emotions.  And that is what made it so much more meaningful to me.   

 Although there have been some fantastic poets over the centuries, I am most touched by the works of Dr. Maya Angelou.  Her writings use real life experiences and the emotions attached to them.  When Angelou was a child, she stopped speaking after a traumatic event in her own life.  Later, she used her writing to regain her voice and express her feelings.  Her thought provoking, healing messages of life, love and change, challenge us all to be better humans.  

 Maya Angelou encouraged us to “Do as good as you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”  Her writings are timeless.  They address the human emotions of going through difficult seasons and finding hope.  Her own healing through writing is an inspiration for so many people.  Her words describe the harsh reality and pain associated with her own upbringing, yet her passion to raise the moral standard is evident in her story.   

 In honor of Dr. Maya Angelou, I encourage you to read her personal story.  You will have an increased understanding of the pain, healing, and hope that are felt in her works.  She will challenge you to learn, to grow, and to be kind.  Something every human being can learn. 

Written by: Nancy Chappel



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