Top 10 Maya Angelou quotes

May 28 15:08 2014

World-renowned poet and author Maya Angelou has passed away. One of her most famous works, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, is one of many that Angelou has written to inspire and teach others for generations.

When Angelou was a child, her mother’s boyfriend raped her and for a time, she refused to speak. Her grandmother believed she would find her words one day and teach others when she was ready.

Angelou learned five languages, wrote volumes of poetry, and also was a professor at Wake Forrest University. CBS News quoted her as saying, “I realize that if I had taught before I had written a book I might never have written a book. I love to teach. I am a teacher.”

In an article by Success, her work is discussed in terms of knowing you can live your life fully even when there are barriers.

We celebrate the life and legacy of Maya Angelou with familiar words she has spoken. While it is hard to narrow down so many resonate with one’s life in multitude of ways, these are just some of the quotes that show the essence of what Angelou believed in.

Here are our top ten quotes from the late Dr. Maya Angelou. Tell us what your favorite quote is in the comments.

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10. “When you know better, you do better.”

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9. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

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8. “You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand out and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.”

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7. “You forgive yourself for every failure because you tried to do the right thing. God knows that, and you know it.”

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6. “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.”

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5. “You may trod me in the very dirt, but still- like dust- I’ll rise.”

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4. “Surviving is important; thriving is elegant.”

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3. “There’s a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine. Clean. So that nobody has a right to curse you or treat you badly.”

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2. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

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1. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”



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Elizabeth Learned
Elizabeth Learned

At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan

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