Maya Angelou is one of the most famous figures in Black Love Poetry

Probably none other in Black love poetry is as renown as Maya Angelou.(b.1926) She has garnered huge respect and fame as one of the best-known black women authors in the world. With an eclectic resume as an artist and educator, Maya Angelou has given us such best-selling titles as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin' and Swingin' and The Heart of a Woman.

Her accomplishments include acting, stage productions and screenplays. She is also only the second poet in American history to have a recital on the occasion of the inauguration of a President.

Her Black love poetry is just as notable. Let us take a look at five selections:


by Maya Angelou

When I was young, I used to

Watch behind the curtains

As men walked up and down the street. Wino

men, old men.

Young men sharp as mustard.

See them. Men are always

Going somewhere.

They knew I was there. Fifteen

Years old and starving for them.

Under my window, they would pauses,

Their shoulders high like the

Breasts of a young girl,

Jacket tails slapping over

Those behinds,


One day they hold you in the

Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you

Were the last raw egg in the world. Then

They tighten up. Just a little. The

First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.

Soft into your defenselessness. A little

More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a

Smile that slides around the fear. When the

Air disappears,

Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,

Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.

It is your juice

runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.

When the earth rights itself again,

And taste tries to return to the tongue,

body has slammed shut. Forever.

No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon

Your mind. There, just beyond

The sway of curtains, men walk.


Going someplace.

But this time, I will simply

Stand and watch.


'Refusal' and 'When You Come' are two more contributions of Maya Angelou to my page on black love poetry:



In what other lives or lands

Have I known your lips

Your Hands

Your Laughter brave


Those sweet excesses that

I do adore.

What surety is there

That we will meet again,

On other worlds some

Future time undated.

I defy my body's haste.

Without the promise

Of one more sweet encounter

I will not deign to die

When You Come

When you come to me, unbidden,

Beckoning me

To long-ago rooms,

Where memories lie.

Offering me, as to a child, an attic,

Gatherings of days too few.

Baubles of stolen kisses.

Trinkets of borrowed loves.

Trunks of secret words,


It is very obvious we are in the hands of a master poet when you examine the sheer quality of these two examples of Black love poetry. It is not difficult to understand how Maya Angelou garnered her towering reputation. She is a massive icon not only to black people everywhere who seek inspiraton among their own, but also to modern literature.

Let us conclude the page with two more examples of the black love poetry of the famous African-American poet, 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.

"Yet it is only love / which sets us free".This is a stirring observation from this master poet of our times. The more popular expression is that Truth sets us free, but in this beautiful piece of black love poetry, Maya Angelou reminds us that in reality, Truth and Love really are the same. They are both concepts from the highest heights which are ideals and benchmarks for mankind for all time!


A Last love,

proper in conclusion,

should snip the wings

forbidding further flight.

But I, now,

reft of that confusion,

am lifted up

and speeding toward the light.

The triumph of Maya Angelou's works and black love poetry is the triumph of a human soul over incredible odds and adversity. In conquering her personal and professional challenges, she has singlehandedly offered hope and courage to millions of black people everywhere.

I have more links below to more black love poetry from other famous black poets:

Claude Mckay

Anne Spencer

Nikki Giovanni 1

Paul Dunbar

Famous Black Love Poetry 1

African 1

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