'Human Family' - By Maya Angelou

I was reading a collection of poems by Maya Angelou last weekend; here's one that particularly struck me.  The poem, named 'Human Family' was published in 1990, in Angelou's collection, 'I Shall Not Be Moved'. The poem is a revelation of the world, unity, togetherness and community, all the subtle things we took for granted before being in lockdown over the past few years. Enjoy! 


Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences

in the human family.

Some of us are serious,

some thrive on comedy. 


Some declare their lives are lived

as true profundity.

and others claim they really live

the real reality. 


The variety of our skin tones

can confuse, bemuse, delight,

brown and pink and beige and purple,

tan and blue and white.


I've sailed upon the seven seas

and stopped in every land,

I've seen the wonders of the world

not yet one common man. 


I know ten thousand women

called Jane and Mary Jane

but I've not seen any two 

who really were the same.


Mirror twins are different

although their features jibe,

and lovers think quite different thoughts 

while lying side by side. 


We love and lose in China,

we weep on England's moors,

and laugh in Guinea, 

and thrive on Spanish shores.


We seek success in Finland, 

are born and die in Maine. 

In minor ways we differ,

in major we're the same. 


I note the obvious differences

between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike. 


We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike. 


We are more alike, my friends, 

than we are unalike. 


From Maya Angelou's collection, 'I Shall Not Be Moved'.

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