Maya Angelou, one of America's finest and best-known poets, died Wednesday at the age of 86. In 2008, she wrote a poem in honor of the Beijing Olympics titled "Amazement Awaits." The poem encompasses the best of the Olympics: unity of the human experience and triumph over strife and doubt.
"I commend you all, Americans and winners across the globe," she wrote on Facebook in 2012, "for what you do is win the human spirit and therefore we are all winners."
Sheer amazement awaits
Amazement luxuriant in promise
Abundant in wonder
Our beautiful children arrive at this Universal stadium
They have bathed in the waters of the world
And carry the soft silt of the Amazon, the Nile,
The Danube, the Rhine, the Yangtze and the Mississippi
In the palms of their right hands.
A wild tiger nestles in each armpit
And a meadowlark perches on each shoulder.
We, the world audience, stand, arms akimbo,
Longing for the passion of the animal
And the melody of the lark
The tigers passion