In an age when the decline of reading is widely lamented — and in an era when poetry rarely gets much attention at the bookstore — we’re heartened by poet Maya Aneglou’s sold-out appearance at LSU’s Student Union Theater.
The 84-year-old Angelou, known around the world for her poetry as well as her books of memoir, including “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” drew repeated applause during her local appearance. She’s perhaps the first American poet since Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg, who both died a generation ago, to achieve this kind of popularity in the general public.
We especially like the advice that Angelou dispensed to students in the audience at her Baton Rouge lecture. “Go to the library. Tomorrow,” she told young people.
Reading helped lift Angelou, an African-American, from modest circumstances in the Jim Crow South. Angelou is a stirring example of the power of the printed word in changing lives.
We hope that Angelou’s young listeners take her words to heart.