Thursday, January 2, 2020


Welcome to my little corner of the world! One of my resolutions for 2020 is that I get back into participating in Poetry Friday on a much more regular basis. I guess one way to do that is to host!

A few days ago, a friend shared this beautiful Maya Angelou poem on Facebook. I knew right away that I wanted it to be the poem I shared with you today. I wanted to use only part of it, and link you to the rest, but I couldn't find it anywhere else online. It's too perfect not to share...

CONTINUE: a poem

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
My wish for you
Is that you continue


To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness


To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart


In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter


To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined


To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you


To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely


To put the mantle of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless


To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise


To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected


To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good


To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit


To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing


To float
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name


And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue

Put your link in the comments and I will round them up tonight or tomorrow. 


author amok said...

Hi, Carol. Thanks for hosting the first poetry party of the year!

I recently read three middle grade historical fiction stories about refugees, two of them in verse. This stanza from Maya Angelou's poem fits so well how I felt after experiencing these novels (Under the Broken Sky, House Without Wall, and Which Way Is Home?):


To put the mantle of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless

My post has brief write ups of all three books, plus a poem to read along with them.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hello, Carol, and Happy New Year!

What a litany Maya offers us. I'm especially taken today with the pillow of gratitude, the "sea of infinite substance" which I intend to float on as I plant my public kisses. Thank you for sharing it all!

I'm in along with the Sunday Poetry Swaggers with a reflection and poem on One Little Word.

Mary Lee said...

She had me in the first stanza:
"To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness"

I will, Maya. I will.

I'm in with a mishmash this week: a graphic, a podcast about a song, a link to a Barbara Crooker poem, and a book you'll want to own.

Thanks for hosting, Carol! Looking forward to having you back!

Christie Wyman said...

Many, many thanks, Carol, for hosting this week. What a wonderful poem you've shared to launch us all into the new year. I've got my first cinquain, inspired by a walk to our school vernal pool with my Kindergarten scientists and the winter wonder we found there. Cheers! -- Christie

Linda Mitchell said...

What a fearful, frightful, joy and delight to read this poem. Thank you, it's a keeper! And, I support you in your re-connecting to Poetry Friday. Poetry Friday is my one true-blue writing commitment. I make sure to stick to it to keep myself disciplined. Although, I've added Spiritual Thursday this year. I hope I can keep up with that as well.

This week, I'm revealing my OLW with the rest of my crit. group. I love how the other four keep me sharp, curious and working toward better. My blog is A Word Edgewise. Link =

Enjoy Poetry Friday and thanks so much for hosting!

GatheringBooks said...

Hi Carol. Thank you so much for hosting. Maya Angelou is food for the soul.
Here is my Poetry Friday contribution - Joy Harjo’s “Remember.”

Michelle Kogan said...

What a powerful, moving, and poignant poem, thanks so much for sharing it with us Carol. Thanks also for hosting the Roundup. I'm sharing two poems, a sketch and music on light, changes and students at:

Linda B said...

It is a beautiful poem for us at this beginning of the new year, Carol. Maya Angelou helps us rise with every poem. Thank you for keeping it, then sharing with us. And thank you for hosting! I'm glad to see you here today and hope you keep coming back! I'm sharing my winter poem swap from Robyn Hood Black, a special thing to find in one's mailbox!

Tim Kulp said...

Thank you for hosting Carol! I love the poem you shared! Thank you. This week I'm sharing an extension to William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderlands. I hope you all enjoy:

laurasalas said...

Oh, Carol, what a beautiful poem! I don't know this one, and it's just perfect for starting off the new year. Thank you for sharing it and for hosting! I'm in with a brief poem--"Come In?" at

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

An important and necessary poem for the new year, Carol...thanks for sharing! (And thanks for hosting) Today I offer a look back at my personal 2019, from poems to picture books, from workshops to awards - along with a look forward to 2020 and the CYBILS Awards finalists, too:

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I'm hoping to participate in Poetry Friday more regularly this year, too. We're off to a good start! Thank you for the lovely Maya Angelou poem, and thank you for hosting! I recently skimmed through a stack of old notebooks, kept the pages that seemed promising, and recycled the rest. My post today ("Recycle Your Unused Ideas!") was inspired by that experience. You can find it at

Jane @ said...

Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday this week, and happy new year! This week I'm sharing a short poem that popped into my head while rocking a cranky teething baby at 4:30am. ;-)

Little Willow said...

Happy new year, and thanks for hosting! Here's my link:

Catherine Flynn said...

Thank you for sharing this stunning poem, and for hosting today, Carol. My critique group partners and I are writing this week about whether or not to choose One Little Word for the year, and if so, reveal our choice.

Janice Scully said...

I was so inspired by this poem! It's a poem to read again and again. Thanks for sharing it. My link:

Carol Varsalona said...

Thank you for hosting PF today, Carol. May you continue to shine a light on beautiful poetry that allows the reader to ponder. The lines that resonant are:
"To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer"

Carol Varsalona said...

My post for the roundup, New Year's Day Thoughts is at

Sally Murphy said...

Thanks for hosting Carol and for sharing a poem which I feel you chose especially for me. I needed a bit of Maya Angelou wisdom today. My post doesn't have much in the way in poetry this week:

mbhmaine said...

Carol, this Maya Angelou poem is a beautiful and powerful way to start off PF for the year. As I've had OLWs in my mind lately, I kept thinking of the compelling use of the word "continue" in this poem. I love this stanza:

In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter"
I'm going to print this one out and read it again and again. Like Maya, it's mighty. I'm still working on my post and will (hopefully!) share a link later today. Thanks so much for hosting and I'm looking forward to "seeing" more of you this year. Again, thank you for the gift of sharing this amazing poem.

Ruth said...

Thanks for hosting, Carol, and for the perfect choice for the new year! Here's my post for today: I've got a poem by Jack Gilbert, plus an original.

Amy LV said...

Carol, Happy New Year! Thank you for hosting and starting our year off with this poem of wisdom and grace.

To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing

I wish you all continuing...

Over at The Poem Farm, I have an almost-English-sonnet about a ghost cat and the animals we love who return after death.


Amy LV said...

...And here is the link!


Rose Cappelli said...

Thanks for this beautiful poem, Carol. I participated a few times in Poetry Friday, but trying it out on a more regular basis in 2020. Here's my link:

Irene Latham said...

I love Carol's Corner so much. :) Here's to continuing... thank you for the Maya and for hosting! I'm in with a red poem - the first in my 2020 ARTSPEAK! project. xo

Margaret Simon said...

I love how Maya Angelou can just nail it in a poem. With all the hype over a new year, she says Continue! That's just right.
I've chosen a one little word and our Sunday Poetry Swaggers group is writing about this practice today:

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks so much for getting our new year of poetry rolling with inspiring Maya giving us resolutions in poem form! PERFECT! My post is simply a round up of the Cybils Poetry Finalists. Here's the link:

Bridget Magee said...

Thanks for hosting Carol!

Your Maya poem is spot on! I especially like the lines:

"To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you"

Yes! Happy New Year!

Ramona said...

Oh, Carol, this is an absolutely perfect poem! I'm collecting poems this year that use my OLW, light, in a way that inspires me. Thanks for adding this one to my collection. You made my day! Thanks for hosting. Here's my link -

Karen Eastlund said...

Hi Carol: Thanks so much for this poem and for hosting today. I'm running a little behind, but wanted to add this post to today's list:
Thanks again, and have a happy and healthy new year.

Carol said...

Thanks for the inspirational poem you shared today! And, thank you for hosting!

Here is my contribution to Poetry Friday:

I appreciate the chance to share. Happy New Year!

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, Carol,
Thanks for this; I love Maya Angelou and this is so beautiful.

I'm in today with Eliot's Journey of the Magi, and the link is here.

Thanks for hosting!

jan godown annino said...

O glory.
I can hear the deep voice of Ms. Angelou settling this over an auditorium. I offer unique appreciations, for bringing in this poem, new to me, Carol. We here in Tallahassee were fortunate to hear Ms. Angelou present her poems & journey story, twice.
Thank you for collecting us this Poetry Friday, too. I love sharing that we are both re-connecting to this world of nourishment.


mbhmaine said...

I wasn't sure if I was going to make it or not! I'm back to link up my post in which I deliberate about whether or not to choose a OLW (one little word). Here's the link:

Tara said...

Oh my, what a poem. And, I think I found my One Little Word for the year, too. Thank you Carol!

Tara Smith said...

Sorry, Carol, here's my link:

Jone said...

I love the Angelou poem. Much needed. Here is my post:

Rebecca Herzog said...

I always enjoy Maya Angelou's poems and this one is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and hosting today. Here is my post where I talk a bit about my poetry goals for the year:

Mandy said...

I enjoyed the poem you shared and idea of continue throughout it - it guided me to keep reading. Staring a Poetry Friday writing plan - to study the craft of poetry and sharing original pieces.

Anthony Del Rosario said...


At last a good post on this topic. This is exactly what we have been searching for! Could be explaining much more about this!


Bea Leever said...

Link to the full poem (Maya Angelou's "Continue"):