Maya Angelou's 18 Best Funeral Poems | Blog about cakes (2023)

Maya Angelou is one of the most famous and inspiring American poets and civil rights activists. Her indelible combinations of elegant yet powerful metaphors created a national reverence for her written word. Each line of poetry is a panorama of sought-after painterly rhythms, whether in moments of inspiration or moments of great sadness.

Go to these sections:

  • Maya Angelou's Inspirational Funeral Poems
  • Maya Angelou's Sad Funeral Poems

Angelou was both a gifted writer and a sage. Readers sit with her words again and again, searching for truths that are sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, but always unforgettable. Choose one of the options below to add that same wisdom to your loved one's funeral.

Maya Angelou's Inspirational Funeral Poems

Maya Angelou's poetry is intense, resonant and inspiring, making it the perfect accompaniment to a funeral or eulogy.

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1. "When I think of myself"

"When I Think About Myself" is an observation of my own life. Here he looks at the pain almost in disbelief. He should dance a dance and sing a song.

A dance that goes
A song called
I'm laughing so hard I almost choke
When I remember myself.

Maybe the song could be touching and inspiring if it talks about surviving through incredible circumstances.

2. "Phenomenal Woman"

In contrast, conventional men and women experience life narrowly. Thus, in Phenomenal Woman, the reader learns that the unconventional is far more interesting than anything else.

Now you get it
Just because my head isn't down.
I don't scream or jump
Or I have to speak very loudly.

This will work in eulogies written about a mysteriously beautiful woman who may not have been an idol by the usual standards but was effortlessly stunning.

3. "Touched by an angel"

Here is a song that is an example of love that "liberates" you from pain, fear and shyness. Since the love depicted here is strong but not sexual or intimate, and since it is love that finds you later, it will act as part of your eulogy to your partner or perhaps a dear friend.

4. "Bird in a cage"

What makes "Caged Bird" an inspiring song is that even though one bird is free and the other is caged, the caged bird never stops singing.

The bird in the cage sings
with a terrifying trill
things unknown
but i still missed you
and listen to its melody
on a distant hill
for a bird in a cage
sings about freedom.

Few people have such strength and persistence. Instead, they see silence as a failure of what is inherent in them - the freedom to live according to their own free will.

5. "On the pulse of tomorrow"

Has your friend or loved one rejected the path that was set for them? If so, consider reading this entire poem at their funeral with a short preface explaining why they were such an amazing force of nature.

6. "Still Rising"

Similarly, 'Still I Rise' is about perseverance, strength and fearlessness. Angelou writes,

Did you want to see me broken?
Head bowed and eyes downcast?
Hands fall like tears
Weakened by my mental screams?

Read it likeplaintfor that high spirit or presence that did not shy away from living its truth. Use it as a backdrop for a story about a person who tirelessly pushed forward, regardless of obstacles.

7. "The Human Family"

"Human Family" works for that person who has tried to unite others despite their differences, real or perceived.

I emphasize the obvious differences
Among every kind and species,
But we are more like my friends
rather we are in opposition.

It's a short poem that can be read in less than a minute, making it the perfect accompaniment to a more elaborate eulogy. Consider reciting it first and then explaining the verse in relation to your loved one's life.

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8. "Women's work"

The stress of work melts away as Angelou describes the sweet pleasures of life that bring rest or seriousness. The contrast makes this song perfect for the person you loved who was both a tireless worker and an eye for the beauty of nature.

They fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me in white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Maya Angelou's Sad Funeral Poems

Althoughpoems about deathit's sad, many of Maya Angelou's works still hold some kind of hope. Look.

9. "Denial"

"Denial" by Angelos is a short poem about death and longing. Although the speaker wants nothing more than to reacquaint himself with his lips, hands, and laughter, he will defy the "rush of his body" and refuse a quick death.

What security
That we will meet again
A little about other worlds
Future tense without date.

10. "Family"

For those of you who have lost a sibling or someone like you, "Kin" is a song that will speak to you. There seems to be a twilight of pleasant memories in it, replacing their loss or abandonment. The speaker returns to this moment of peace and fun, reminiscing.

I hear laughter again
Guys, look at the fireflies
Small explosions are heard
Arkansas twilight.

11. "When big trees fall"

The tree in Angelus' poem begins as a metaphor for an important form of life. The tree sets the stage for a discussion of the influence of great souls on the lives of others.

When great souls die
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, for a while.
Our eyes for a while
see me
painful clarity.

12. "In Time and Beyond"

One thing that stands out in the song is how much struggle love can endure. Angelou captured the feeling so sweetly and with a kind of pathetic delusion, where the sun and fog are both revealing and equally hidden.

13. "I learned"

"I've Learned" is more of a lesson than a poem, but almost everything Angelou wrote or said was poetic. It will work for any compliment that reflects how your friend or loved one has become a stronghold in your love. What you never questioned and what you will always miss.

I learned that no matter what happens or how bad it looks today, life goes on and tomorrow will be better... I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget you, how they felt around you.

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14. "Savior"

"The Savior" mourns those who interrupted this process or stood in the way between Maya and the Savior. He recognizes plaques, stained glass windows and traces of old conversations, but longs for a visit that will reveal and bring clarity.

Visit us again Sotiris.
Your children, difficult
disbelief, blinded by the patina

15. "Mother: the cradle that holds me"

This Angelus song will serve well at a mother's funeral because it uniquely portrays a child's perspective and a mother's love.

Let me thank you
This selfishness, ignorance and mockery of mine
It didn't lead you to
Throw me away like a broken doll
Who fell out of favor.

16. "Sam"

"Alone" is both a reflection on life and an introspection of one's own life. He understands that every area of ​​life requires the existence of others.

You're welcome
Nobody, nobody
I can manage on my own here.

In this case, the song works for the matriarch or patriarch who always brought the family together as a unified whole. You may have thought of them as the "glue" that held you together.

17. "Song for old people"

Much of Maya Angelou's poetry focuses on her life and experiences as a black woman in America. Here in "Song of the Ancients" she credits her ancestors with those who paved the way for her life today.

I understand their importance
could arise
from life to the brink of death
They kept my tribe alive.

Maybe this song reminds you of your grandma or grandpa. If so, read them as eulogies in honor of their sacrifices.

18. "Preacher, don't send me"

The speaker does not want the same life of rats and sand, nor does he want promises that seem too good to be true. Instead, they want to be surrounded by family, kindness, music and sweet autumn air.

I would call the place
pure paradise
where families are loyal
strangers are nice too
where the music is jazz
and the season is autumn.

Songs for a funeral or eulogy

Choosing the right song to add to a loved one's eulogy is not an easy choice. So, for more information aboutshort examples of praiseLubhow to plan a funeral mass, follow our link for helpful tips and ideas.

  1. my poetic sideMy poetic side, n.d.,


Maya Angelou's 18 Best Funeral Poems | Blog about cakes? ›

A Gaelic Farewell

May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall softly upon your fields until we meet again, And may God hold you in the hollow of his hand. This traditional Irish blessing is an ancient Celtic prayer.

What is the Gaelic farewell poem? ›

A Gaelic Farewell

May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall softly upon your fields until we meet again, And may God hold you in the hollow of his hand. This traditional Irish blessing is an ancient Celtic prayer.

What is the poem when great trees fall about? ›

'When Great Trees Fall' by Maya Angelou speaks about loss as a tragic yet inevitable part of the human experience. When it strikes, it leaves despair and misery in its path.

What is Maya Angelou most famous quote? ›

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

Who wrote Do not weep for me? ›

A short but uplifting funeral poem by famous Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, about saying goodbye to a loved one.

What is the Irish funeral cry? ›

Keening (Irish: Caointeoireacht) is a traditional form of vocal lament for the dead in the Gaelic Celtic tradition, known to have taken place in Ireland and Scotland.

What is the Gaelic death blessing? ›

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”

What is a poem about fall leaves? ›

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me, Fluttering from the autumn tree.

What is the deeper meaning of the poem how the leaves came down? ›

The central purpose of the poem revolves around the leaves insisting to stay a little longer on the tree. The great tree is personified as a father and its leaves are personified as children. The father tree asks his children (leaves) to go to bed.

What is the short message of on killing a tree? ›

The poet through this poem ironically conveys a profound message to the readers on saving trees. He ironically conveys a message that we should not cut trees. He says that trees are living beings just like human beings or any other form of life.

What was Maya Angelou's most inspiring quote? ›

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” “All great achievements require time.” “Nothing will work unless you do.” “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

What is the most powerful quote? ›

  1. 21 Of The World's Most Powerful Quotes, Updated For Today. ...
  2. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ...
  3. “Everybody is a genius. ...
  4. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” ...
  5. “He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears.”

What are 5 positive quotes? ›

Motivational quotes to start your day
  • “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” — ...
  • “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” — ...
  • “Don't settle for average. ...
  • “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” — ...
  • “Don't bunt.
May 18, 2020

What Scripture says do not mourn for me? ›

Ezekiel 24:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Sigh and groan in silence; do not mourn for the dead. Bind on your turban and put your sandals on your feet, and do not cover your mustache or eat the bread of [mourners furnished by other] men.”

What is the poem that says do not stand at my grave and cry? ›

Written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in the 1930's, 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep' is a popular poem to be read at funeral services. Its words bring comfort to readers as it shows that the person who has died lives on in our memories.

Who wrote Until We Meet Again funeral poem? ›

Until We Meet Again - Until We Meet Again Poem by chauntia chisholm.

What is a happy Irish song for a funeral? ›

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by Chauncey Olcott

“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is more of a celebratory song that is often played at funerals with a more upbeat vibe.

What are people who cry at funerals called? ›

Professional mourners, also called moirologists and mutes, are compensated to lament or deliver a eulogy and help comfort and entertain the grieving family.

Do you wear black to an Irish funeral? ›

Suitable colours. When picking attire, darker colours are equally acceptable as black at funerals for men and women. Dark suits, lighter shirts and darker ties are best. Usually men who are immediate family will wear dark suits, white shirts and black ties.

What are Irish words for grief? ›

méala » Grief, sorrow; cause of mourning, of lamentation.
  • cách » Lá caoi ~, day of general mourning.
  • diaidh » An t-athair i n~ a mhic, the father mourning his son.
  • éide » ~ bróin, mourning (clothes).

What is the Irish tradition when someone dies? ›

Irish wakes are a celebration of life - one last party to honor the deceased. The name “wake” originated because unknown diseases had plagued the countryside causing some to appear dead. As the family began to mourn, they would awaken. For this reason, the body is waked in the deceased's home for at least one night.

What does the Irish say about rain at a funeral? ›

If it rains over an open grave, someone present at the graveside may die within the year. But don't forget too the funeral custom above dictates that rain over a funeral procession means the deceased will go straight to heaven!

What is a famous quote about fall leaves? ›

"Autumn leaves shower like gold, like rainbows, as the winds of change begin to blow."

What is it called when trees lose their leaves in the fall? ›

In botany and horticulture, deciduous plants, including trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials, are those that lose all of their leaves for part of the year. This process is called abscission. In some cases leaf loss coincides with winter—namely in temperate or polar climates.

What is falling of leaves called? ›

The phenomenon of falling of leaves and the fruits from the plant is known as abscission.

What is the main message of falling leaves? ›

An activist, Cole wanted to speak out against the injustices she saw in the world and used poetry as a means of doing so. The Falling Leaves captures her spirit as she observes the changing world, and the change in attitudes and beliefs concerning the Great War, and the society of the time as its whole.

What is the hidden meaning of the poem the trees? ›

The poet has used trees as a metaphor to explain how humans have destroyed the forest. The poet feels that the empty forest will be full by morning with the trees moving. The second stanza tells how the trees work throughout the night to achieve their freedom mission.

What does the poet remember before falling asleep? ›

Ans: The poet goes down the memory lane before falling asleep remembering the days that are no more and are long gone.

What does the killing of the tree symbolize in the poem on killing a tree? ›

Ans. In this poem, the tree is a symbol of deep-rooted evil.

What does he mean by the strength of the tree exposed? ›

The strength of the tree lies in its roots, which the poet asks to snap out in order to kill the tree. Thus, the phrase “the strength of the tree exposed” refers to the roots of the tree being exposed to sunlight and air.

What remains hidden for years inside the earth? ›

Answer: The roots are the most sensitive parts of a tree. They remain hidden inside the earth for years.

What did Maya Angelou say about mothers? ›

I think of men as mother -- some men. My son has mothered his son, fathered his son. I don't think you have to be a woman to mother." With these sentiments in mind, Angelou, arguably America's most famous poet, wrote a book in honor of mothers, "Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me."

What are 5 famous quotes? ›

Famous quotes in English
That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.Neil ArmstrongEnglish
The love of money is the root of all evil.the BibleGreek
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.Franklin D. RooseveltEnglish
The truth will set you free.the BibleGreek
54 more rows

When did Maya Angelou say people will forget what you say? ›

Maya Angelou was linked with the saying in 2003, but the site found a version in a 1971 volume called "Richard Evans' Quote Book", ascribed to one Carl W. Buehner, a high-level official in the Mormon church. "They may forget what you said - but they will never forget how you made them feel."

What is a sweet quote about life? ›

“Life is just a dream, to some it's a sweet dream, to others, a nightmare. But whatever it is, it's always short and dissipates quickly.” “Life is sweet till a bitter reality comes and hits us! After that, if you are a strong person, life will continue being sweet!”

What is a strong woman quote? ›

A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.

What is a great blessing quote? ›

Humankind's greatest blessing is its Humanity.” “To find the best comfort, I count my blessings.” “Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” “Those who make time for others are forever blessed.”

What God says about death of a loved one? ›

'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

What Psalm is for comfort in death? ›

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

What does the Bible say about seeing loved ones in heaven? ›

The reunion of believing loved ones

When Paul writes to believers who grieve the loss of a loved one, he offers them this comfort: “We who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, emphasis mine).

What is a sad poem about death called? ›

Explore the glossary of poetic terms. The elegy is a form of poetry in which the poet or speaker expresses grief, sadness, or loss. The elegy began as an ancient Greek metrical form and is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group.

What poem is intended to commemorate and mourn for the dead? ›

An elegy is a poem in remembrance and commemoration of someone who has passed, also known as 'obituary poetry'.

Who wrote to those I love and those who love me? ›

A short but uplifting funeral poem by famous Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, about saying goodbye to a loved one.

Who wrote for I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep? ›

Miles to Go Before I Sleep is a quotation from the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.

What is the funeral poem the day you left? ›

With tears we saw you suffer, As we watched you fade away, Our hearts were almost broken, As you fought so hard to stay. We knew you had to leave us, But you never went alone, For part of us went with you The day you left your home.

What are Gaelic sayings for goodbye? ›

To say Goodbye in Irish you would say “Slán leat” – literally meaning “goodbye (health) to you”. You can be less formal and just say “Slán”, bye. Or as we say in our own video … “Slán go fóill” – Bye for now.

What is the Scottish poem about leaving? ›

The Late Swallow - by Edwin Muir

Leave, leave your well-loved nest, / Late swallow, and fly away. / For hollowing heart and wearying wing.

What is the Irish quote for leaving? ›

In Ireland today we use the word "slán" (pronounced slawn) when saying goodbye. It literally means safe. When driving around the Irish countryside you often see road signs that say "slán abhaile" (pronounced slawn ah-wal-ya), which means safe home.

What is the traditional Irish funeral poem? ›

May the road rise to meet you poem

May the sunshine warm upon your face. May the rains fall upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

What do you say at a funeral in Gaelic? ›

Irish language blessings for death and funerals

This Gaelic blessing literally translates to “May his/her/their soul be on God's right hand”. Furthermore, you can pronounce this as “Err yesh Day guh rev ah ann-am”. In addition, you can also utter Solas Mhic Dé ar a n-anam for the departed ones.

What is the Irish goodbye toast? ›

Farewell to friends toast

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your fields.

What is the Gaelic expression grief? ›

Keening is a traditional form of vocal lament and mourning for the dead in the Gaelic Celtic tradition, a ritual performed in Irish or Scots Gaelic at the wake or at the graveside. The word keening comes from the Gaelic word Caoineadh – Kwyeen -ift – to cry, to weep.

What is the Scottish blessing funeral poem? ›

May the sun shine warm upon your face; May the rains fall softly upon your fields. Until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

What is the famous Scottish poem funeral? ›

"Land o' the Leal" by Caroline Oliphant, Baroness Nairne

As the song is about one's departure to a land of the faithful, it also works as a Scottish funeral song for any matriarch in your family, even though the author initially wrote the poem about a child.

What song is played at Scottish funerals? ›

"Lochaber No More" by Robert Prescott Stewart. Both Scotland and Ireland use this song for traditional funeral services. There are said to be three renditions of the song, and it is unclear from which country the tune originated.

What is the most famous Irish saying? ›

What is the most famous Irish blessing? “May the road rise up to meet you” is one of the most famous Irish blessings.

Why do the Irish not say goodbye? ›

It's considered Irish because the Irish people believe that it's done so that their keys aren't taken away for being too intoxicated when trying to leave a party. But in the present time, it's really just used for the person who leaves a party without saying goodbye.

What is the famous Irish motto? ›

The Republic of Ireland has no national motto, but Erin go Bragh (Ireland Forever) is a popular unofficial motto. Northern Ireland has used the motto Quis separabit?, Latin from Romans 8:35: Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi..., "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

What is the blessing for a funeral in Gaelic? ›

May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.


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