Touched by an Angel

touched by an angeltouched by an angel

Touched by an Angel: By Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

This poem could very well be my life story for the most part. I love how this is not just another piece of work that I can simply analyze and understand, but rather, a depiction of a reality that I have experienced countless times. The poem’s message is that often times, we can be quick to impose loneliness and fear unto ourselves; however, if we are willing to take a chance and open our hearts to love, the joys received greatly overshadow the risk, and we are set free from our heartache.

Angelou begins by addressing people who have been deprived of joy and lack spirit. She goes on to talk about the people’s savior- love. Love is an enigmatic character- it liberates the enslaved from their jail of fear, yet brings up the dark memories of pain; in a sense, love is rendered as bittersweet.  The central theme in the poem is centered around how love is given life: “Love arrives”, “until love leaves its high holy temple”, and “love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls”. Through this life given to love, it is evident that love is not just a feeling, but a force to be reckoned with that has the power to vanquish dull existence. “We” and “our” are used throughout the poem and I like how inclusive and intimate this makes the message, as if these words come from a wise friend, rather than a distant figure. This inclusiveness also imparts an odd sense of companionship to the message (given the lonely tone portrayed at the start). There is an acknowledgement that every one of us closes ourselves off to love at one time or another.

I don’t think that this poem would’ve been effective in  another form because as a poem, it inherently possesses a fluid rhythm that isn’t imposed onto the reader (like a song would, for example). The fact that the rhythm isn’t forced upon us, but rather, felt, helps give the poem its tone- reflective, pained, peaceful and joyful.

-Angel (haha, Touched by an Angel 🙂

One comment

  1. nupursavani · January 31, 2016

    Hey Angel, you did a wonderful job with this blog post. I could feel your passion and enthusiasm all through the post. You analyzed the poem and its message really well. I wish you expanded on your last paragraph as much as you expanded on your other ideas. Otherwise you did a great job 🙂


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