11 Maya Angelou Quotes Immortalized in Stone (And Glass, and Paper, and…)

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There’s a reason Maya Angelou was so loved and revered in the literary world and beyond; her inspirational words could at once console and encourage, teaching us important life lessons and helping us to be our best selves. It’s no surprise, then, that quotations from the great poet and writer have appeared on countless monuments all over the world. Some of those monuments are public, like her square in Kerouac Alley and the many murals and works of street art featuring her words; others are more private, like the personal journals of those inspired by her and the posters we hang on our walls. No matter where they are or what form they take, though, they’re always striking. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Courage

"Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency."

2. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

Shadows on the wall

Noises down the hall

Life doesn't frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud

Big ghosts in a cloud

Life doesn't frighten me at all

Tough guys fight

All alone at night

Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park

Strangers in the dark

No, they don't frighten me at all.

If I'm afraid at all

It's only in my dreams.

Life doesn't frighten me at all

Not at all

Not at all.

3. The Writing on the Wall

“If you find it in yourself to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

4. The Writing on the Wall, Part Two

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

5. I Rise

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave

I am the dream and the hope of the slave

I rise

I rise

I rise

6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

7. History

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

8. On Defeat

"You can encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated."

10. On Music

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."

11. On Creativity

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."