Famous Maya Angelou Love Quotes

  • I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  • If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
  •  First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.

  • You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.'
  • If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
  • I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn't just hold—that's ego. Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, 'I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.'

  • The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
  • When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. 

  • Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'
  • I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.

  • Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
  •  My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

    • Life loves the liver of it.
    • I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don't just want to possess it, it will find you.

    • I could fall in love with a sumo wrestler if he told stories and made me laugh. Obviously, it would be easier if someone was African-American and lived next door and went to the same church. Because then I wouldn't have to translate.
    • The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous.

    • You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.
    • I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me, 'I love you.' ... There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

    Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you've got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.
    I dreamt we walked together along the shore. We made satisfying small talk and laughed. This morning I found sand in my shoe and a seashell in my pocket. Was I only dreaming?

    • Love. she liberated me to life, she continued to do that. and when she was in her final sickness i went out to san francisco and the doctor said she had 3 weeks to live, i asked her "would you come to north carolina?" she said yes. she had emphysema and lung cancer, i brought her to my home. she lived for a year and a half ..and when she was finally in extraneous she was on oxygen and fighting cancer for her life and i remembered her liberating me, and i said i hoped i would be able to liberate her, she deserved that from me. she deserved a great daughter and she got one. so in her last days, i said "i understand some people need permission to go… as i understand it you may have done what god put you here to do. you were a great worker, you must've been a great lover cause a lot of men and if I'm not wrong maybe a couple of woman risked their lives to love you. you were a piss poor mother of small children but a you were great mother of young adults, and if you need permission to go, i liberate you". and i went back to my house, and something said go back- i was in my pajamas, i jumped in my car and ran and the nurse said "she just gone". you see love liberates. it doesn't bind, love says i love you. i love you if you're in china, i love you if you're across town, i love you if you're in harlem, i love you. i would like to be near you, i would like to have your arms around me i would like to have your voice in my ear but thats not possible now, i love you so go. love liberates it doesn't hold. thats ego. love liberates.

    • Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.
    • Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.

    • I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.

    To read more inspirational and other Maya Angelou quotes about love and life:
    - Best Maya Angelou texts

    [ ... ]

    People think a soul mate is your perfect fit

    People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

    A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

    A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...
    [ ... ]

    You know you're in love when... Dr Seuss

    “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
    [ ... ]


    Green Buddhas

    On the fruit stand.

    We eat the smile

    And spit out the teeth.
    [ ... ]


    A New Version: 1980

    What is that little black thing I see there

    in the white?

    Walt Whitman


    Out of poverty

    To begin again:

    With the color of the bride

    And that of blindness,

    Touch what I can

    Of the quick,

    Speak and then wait,

    As if this light

    Will continue to linger

    On the threshold.

    All that is near,

    I no longer give it a name.

    Once a stone hard of hearing,

    Once sharpened into a knife...

    Now only a chill

    Slipping through.

    Enough glow to kneel by and ask

    To be tied to its tail

    When it goes marrying

    Its cousins, the stars.

    Is it a cloud?

    If it's a cloud it will move on.

    The true shape of this thought,

    Migrant, waning.

    Something seeks someone,

    It bears him a gift

    Of himself, a bit

    Of snow to taste,

    Glimpse of his own nakedness

    By which to imagine the face.

    On a late afternoon of snow

    In a dim badly-aired grocery,

    Where a door has just rung

    With a short, shrill echo,

    A little boy hands the old,

    Hard-faced woman

    Bending low over the counter,

    A shiny nickel for a cupcake.

    Now only that shine, now

    Only that lull abides.

    That your gaze

    Be merciful,

    Sister, bride

    Of my first hopeless insomnia.

    Kind nurse, show me

    The place of salves.

    Teach me the song

    That makes a man rise

    His glass at dusk

    Until a star dances in it.

    Who are you? Are you anybody

    A moonrock would recognize?

    There are words I need.

    They are not near men.

    I went searching.

    Is this a deathmarch?

    You bend me, bend me,

    Oh toward what flower!

    Little-known vowel,

    Noose big for us all.

    As strange as a shepherd

    In the Arctic Circle.

    Someone like Bo-peep.

    All his sheep are white

    And he can't get any sleep

    Over lost sheep.

    And he's got a flute

    Which says Bo-peep,

    Which says Poor boy,

    Take care of your snow-sheep.

    to A.S. Hamilton

    Then all's well and white,

    And no more than white.

    Illinois snowbound.

    Indiana with one bare tree.

    Michigan a storm-cloud.

    Wisconsin empty of men.

    There's a trap on the ice

    Laid there centuries ago.

    The bait is still fresh.

    The metal glitters as the night descends.

    Woe, woe, it sings from the bough.

    Our Lady, etc...

    You had me hoodwinked.

    I see your brand new claws.

    Praying, what do I betray

    By desiring your purity?

    There are old men and women,

    All bandaged up, waiting

    At the spiked, wrought-iron gate

    Of the Great Eye and Ear Infirmery.

    We haven't gone far...

    Fear lives there too.

    Five ears of my fingertips

    Against the white page.

    What do you hear?

    We hear holy nothing

    Blindfolding itself.

    It touched you once, twice,

    And tore like a stitch

    Out of a new wound.


    What are you up to son of a gun?

    I roast on my heart's dark side.

    What do you use as a skewer sweetheart?

    I use my own crooked backbone.

    What do you salt yourself with loverboy?

    I grind the words out of my spittle.

    And how will you know when you're done chump?

    When the half-moons on my fingernails set.

    With what knife will you carve yourself smartass?

    The one I hide in my tongue's black boot.

    Well, you can't call me a wrestler

    If my own dead weight has me pinned down.

    Well, you can't call me a cook

    If the pot's got me under its cover.

    Well, you can't call me a king

    if the flies hang their hats in my mouth.

    Well, you can't call me smart,

    When the rain's falling my cup's in the cupboard.

    Nor can you call me a saint,

    If I didn't err, there wouldn't be these smudges.

    One has to manage as best as one can.

    The poppies ate the sunset for supper.

    One has to manage as best as one can.

    Who stole my blue thread, the one

    I tied around my pinky to remember?

    One has to manage as best as one can.

    The flea I was standing on, jumped.

    One has to manage as best as one can.

    I think my head went out for a walk.

    One has to manage as best as one can.

    This is breath, only breath,

    Think it over midnight!

    A fly weighs twice as much.

    The struck match nods as it passes,

    But when I shout,

    Its true name sticks in my throat.

    It has to be cold

    So the breath turns white,

    And then mother, who's fast enough

    To write his life on it?

    A song in prison

    And for prisoners,

    Made of what the condemned

    Have hidden from the jailers.

    White--let me step aside

    So that the future may see you,

    For when this sheet is blown away,

    What else is left

    But to set the food on the table,

    To cut oneself a slice of bread?

    In an unknown year

    Of an algebraic century,

    An obscure widow

    Wrapped in the colors of widowhood,

    Met a true-blue orphan

    On an indeterminate street-corner.

    She offered him

    A tiny sugar cube

    In the hand so wizened

    All the lines said: fate.

    Do you take this line

    Stretching to infinity?

    I take this chipped tooth

    On which to cut it in half.

    Do you take this circle

    Bounded by a single curved line?

    I take this breath

    That it cannot capture.

    Then you may kiss the spot

    Where her bridal train last rustled.

    Winter can come now,

    The earth narrow to a ditch--

    And the sky with its castles and stone lions

    Above the empty plains.

    The snow can fall...

    What other perennials would you plant,

    My prodigals, my explorers

    Tossing and turning in the dark

    For those remote, finely honed bees,

    The December stars?

    Had to get through me elsewhere.

    Woe to bone

    That stood in their way.

    Woe to each morsel of flesh.

    White ants

    In a white anthill.

    The rustle of their many feet

    Scurrying--tiptoing too.

    Gravedigger ants.

    Village-idiot ants.

    This is the last summoning.

    Solitude--as in the beginning.

    A zero burped by a bigger zero--

    It's an awful licking I got.

    And fear--that dead letter office.

    And doubt--that Chinese shadow play.

    Does anyone still say a prayer

    Before going to bed?

    White sleeplessness.

    No one knows its weight.

    What The White Had To Say

    For how could anything white be distinct

    from or divided from whiteness?

    Meister Eckhart

    Because I am the bullet

    That has gone through everyone already,

    I thought of you long before you thought of me.

    Each one of you still keeps a blood-stained handkerchief

    In which to swaddle me, but it stays empty

    And even the wind won't remain in it long.

    Cleverly you've invented name after name for me,

    Mixed the riddles, garbled the proverbs,

    Shook you loaded dice in a tin cup,

    But I do not answer back even to your curses,

    For I am nearer to you than your breath.

    One sun shines on us both through a crack in the roof.

    A spoon brings me through the window at dawn.

    A plate shows me off to the four walls

    While with my tail I swing at the flies.

    But there's no tail and the flies are your thoughts.

    Steadily, patiently I life your arms.

    I arrange them in the posture of someone drowning,

    And yet the sea in which you are sinking,

    And even this night above it, is myself.

    Because I am the bullet

    That has baptized each one of your senses,

    Poems are made of our lusty wedding nights...

    The joy of words as they are written.

    The ear that got up at four in the morning

    To hear the grass grow inside a word.

    Still, the most beautiful riddle has no answer.

    I am the emptiness that tucks you in like a

    mockingbird's nest,

    The fingernail that scratched on your sleep's


    Take a letter: From cloud to onion.

    Say: There was never any real choice.

    One gaunt shadowy mother wiped our asses,

    The same old orphanage taught us loneliness.

    Street-organ full of blue notes,

    I am the monkey dancing to your grinding--

    And still you are afraid-and so,

    It's as if we had not budged from the beginning.

    Time slopes. We are falling head over heels

    At the speed of night. That milk tooth

    You left under the pillow, it's grinning.


    This currently out-of-print edition:

    Copyright ©1980 Logbridge-Rhodes, Inc.

    An earlier version of White was first published

    by New Rivers Press in 1972.
    [ ... ]

    The Errand

    I've been going right on, page by page,

    since we last kissed, two long dolls in a cage,

    two hunger-mongers throwing a myth in and out,

    double-crossing out lives with doubt,

    leaving us separate now, fogy with rage.

    But then I've told my readers what I think

    and scrubbed out the remainder with my shrink,

    have placed my bones in a jar as if possessed,

    have pasted a black wing over my left breast,

    have washed the white out of the moon at my sink,

    have eaten The Cross, have digested its lore,

    indeed, have loved that eggless man once more,

    have placed my own head in the kettle because

    in the end death won't settle for my hypochondrias,

    because this errand we're on goes to one store.

    That shopkeeper may put up barricades,

    and he may advertise cognac and razor blades,

    he may let you dally at Nice or the Tuileries,

    he may let the state of our bowels have ascendancy,

    he may let such as we flaunt our escapades,

    swallow down our portion of whisky and dex,

    salvage the day with some soup or some sex,

    juggle our teabags as we inch down the hall,

    let the blood out of our fires with phenobarbital,

    lick the headlines for Starkweathers and Specks,

    let us be folk of the literary set,

    let us deceive with words the critics regret,

    let us dog down the streets for each invitation,

    typing out our lives like a Singer sewing sublimation,

    letting our delicate bottoms settle and yet

    they were spanked alive by some doctor of folly,

    given a horn or a dish to get by with, by golly,

    exploding with blood in this errand called life,

    dumb with snow and elbows, rubber man, a mother wife,

    tongues to waggle out of the words, mistletoe and holly,

    tables to place our stones on, decades of disguises,

    wntil the shopkeeper plants his boot in our eyes,

    and unties our bone and is finished with the case,

    and turns to the next customer, forgetting our face

    or how we knelt at the yellow bulb with sighs

    like moth wings for a short while in a small place.
    [ ... ]

    The Expatriates

    My dear, it was a moment

    to clutch for a moment

    so that you may believe in it

    and believing is the act of love, I think,

    even in the telling, wherever it went.

    In the false New England forest

    where the misplanted Norwegian trees

    refused to root, their thick synthetic

    roots barging out of the dirt to work on the air,

    we held hands and walked on our knees.

    Actually, there was no one there.

    For fourty years this experimental

    woodland grew, shaft by shaft in perfect rows

    where its stub branches held and its spokes fell.

    It was a place of parallel trees, their lives

    filed out in exile where we walked too alien to know

    our sameness and how our sameness survives.

    Outside of us the village cars followed

    the white line we had carefully walked

    two nights before toward our single beds.

    We lay halfway up an ugly hill and if we fell

    it was here in the woods where the woods were caught

    in their dying and you held me well.

    And now I must dream the forest whole

    and your sweet hands, not once as frozen

    as those stopped trees, nor ruled, nor pale,

    nor leaving mine. Today in my house, I see

    our house, its pillars a dim basement of men

    holding up their foreign ground for you and me.

    My dear, it was a time,

    butchered from time

    that we must tell of quickly

    before we lose the sound of our own

    mouths calling mine, mine, mine.
    [ ... ]

    The Fury Of Earth

    The day of fire is coming, the thrush,

    will fly ablaze like a little sky rocket,

    the beetle will sink like a giant bulldozer,

    and at the breaking of the morning the houses

    will turn into oil and will in their tides

    of fire be a becoming and an ending, a red fan.

    What then, man in your easy chair,

    of the anointment of the sick,

    of the New Jerusalem?

    You will have to polish up the stars

    with Bab-o and find a new God

    as the earth empties out

    into the gnarled hands of the old redeemer.
    [ ... ]

    The Stand-Ins

    In the dream

    the swastika is neon

    and flashes like a strobe light

    into my eyes, all colors,

    all vibrations

    and I see the killer in him

    and he turns on an oven,

    an oven, an oven, an oven,

    and on a pie plate he sticks

    in my Yellow Star

    and then

    then when it is ready for serving—

    this dream goes off into the wings

    and on stage The Cross appears,

    with Jesus sticking to it

    and He is breathing

    and breathing

    and He is breathing

    and breathing

    and then He speaks,

    a kind of whisper,

    and says . . .

    This is the start.

    This is the end.

    This is a light.

    This is a start.

    I woke.

    I did not know the hour,

    an hour of night like thick scum

    but I considered the dreams,

    the two: Swastika, Crucifix,

    and said: Oh well,

    it does't belong to me,

    if a cigar can be a cigar

    then a dream can be a dream.



    And went back to sleep

    and another start.
    [ ... ]

    The Fury Of Cooks

    Herbs, garlic,

    cheese, please let me in!

    Souffles, salad,

    Parker House rolls,

    please let me in!

    Cook Helen,

    why are you so cross,

    why is your kitchen verboten?

    Couldn't you just teach me

    to bake a potato,

    to bake a potato,

    that charm,

    that young prince?

    No! No!

    This is my county!

    You shout silently.

    Couldn't you just show me

    the gravy. How you drill it out

    of the stomach of that bird?

    Helen, Helen,

    let me in,

    let me feel the flour,

    is it blinding and frightening,

    this stuff that makes cakes?

    Helen, Helen,

    the kitchen is your dog

    and you pat it

    and love it

    and keep it clean.

    But all these things,

    all these dishes of things

    come through the swinging door

    and I don't know from where?

    Give me some tomato aspic, Helen!

    I don't want to be alone.
    [ ... ]

    The Fury Of God's Good-bye

    One day He

    tipped His top hat

    and walked

    out of the room,

    ending the arguement.

    He stomped off


    I don't give guarentees.

    I was left

    quite alone

    using up the darkenss.

    I rolled up

    my sweater,

    up into a ball,

    and took it

    to bed with me,

    a kind of stand-in

    for God,

    what washerwoman

    who walks out

    when you're clean

    but not ironed.

    When I woke up

    the sweater

    had turned to

    bricks of gold.

    I'd won the world

    but like a

    forsaken explorer,

    I'd lost

    my map.
    [ ... ]

    At Great Pond

    At Great Pond
    the sun, rising,
    scrapes his orange breast
    on the thick pines,
    and down tumble
    a few orange feathers into
    the dark water.
    On the far shore
    a white bird is standing
    like a white candle ---
    or a man, in the distance,
    in the clasp of some meditation ---
    while all around me the lilies
    are breaking open again
    from the black cave
    of the night.
    Later, I will consider
    what I have seen ---
    what it could signify ---
    what words of adoration I might
    make of it, and to do this
    I will go indoors to my desk ---
    I will sit in my chair ---
    I will look back
    into the lost morning
    in which I am moving, now,
    like a swimmer,
    so smoothly,
    so peacefully,
    I am almost the lily ---
    almost the bird vanishing over the water
    on its sleeves of night.
    [ ... ]

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