Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

When Great Trees Fall - Poem by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.


Comments about When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou

  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage Jayatissa K. Liyanage (5/17/2016 10:04:00 PM)

    Yes, it very well fits with your case as well, if you read this from some where. Voids created by fallen great trees will not be filled so easily. It may take ages. Gem of a stuff. X (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kay Staley (5/17/2016 11:43:00 AM)

    Such beautiful imagery... (Report) Reply

  • Bharati Nayak Bharati Nayak (5/17/2016 10:28:00 AM)

    When great souls fall, its impact is felt in the atmosphere.Even animals can sense it.The loss freezes our senses for a while.But when we come to normal we feel that they still exist in our wisdom.We can be like them and be better and better by this wisdom. (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (5/17/2016 8:13:00 AM)

    Marvelous! Yes when great souls die we are frozen till their inspiring words resonate in our mind to bring us back to life and guide us to follow on their path. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (5/17/2016 5:56:00 AM)

    Superb poem....
    And when great souls die,
    after a period peace blooms,
    slowly and always
    irregularly. Spaces fill
    with a kind of
    soothing electric vibration. (Report) Reply

  • Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal (5/17/2016 5:44:00 AM)

    Nice one.....full ten point..


    When such leader is assassinated
    Or eliminated
    The whole of area remains charged
    Sometimes the weal country is attacked and merged (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga Rajnish Manga (5/17/2016 3:06:00 AM)

    Very well conceptualized. When a phenomenal figure departs, great upheaval takes place inside of a whole territory's way of thinking and perception- for betterment. Great poem from great poet indeed. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (5/17/2016 1:19:00 AM)

    Yes! Small things recoil into silence. Nice piece of work. (Report) Reply

  • The Poet Poet (2/26/2016 5:48:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou

    Everything in life is relative
    what is an important soul for you
    no one else may even know of it

    but the importance lingers on in one’s mind
    who do such lively souls find
    and
    Madam you are one such of a kind
    humans can all remind
    and
    you alone shall dwell in hearts of mankind
    as a flame
    of knowledge
    you inflame
    and
    also that is all relative in name

    No one knows me
    nor will ever you
    but an enigma remain I will
    in hearts honestly true,
    now yours too (Report) Reply

  • Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek (2/16/2016 12:06:00 PM)

    soothing electric vibration.
    Our senses, restored, never
    to be the same, whisper to us.
    They existed. They existed.
    We can be. Be and be
    better. For they existed

    Great Trees. It is just like you, Maya we have missed you. You great TREE. Great loss. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 15, 2016



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