Each generation of Americans has had a poet that has held the position as the nation's keeper of conscience. In my opinion, that poet for current America is Maya Angelou. Two of her best known poems are "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "On The Pulse of Morning." The latter was composed and presented for the inaugural ceremony of Bill Clinton. It ends with the words:
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, and into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
All day today, this poem has been on my mind. I don't even like it that much! But her message, her goal is so simple, so beautiful. She doesn't speak of revolution, spiritual transcendence, liberation. She speaks of today, this pulse of morning, of being hopeful and kind. Nothing more. Certainly, nothing less.
Join me for a cup.