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Poem of the Week for: 01/16/2018 - 01/22/2018

Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist and one of the most influential people of our time. She was a contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr. who famously said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." The refrain at the end of this poem expresses a similar sentiment, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

In recent times, all over the world, hatred and focus on our differences has raised its ugly voice. Human Family is about how different we all are from each other, even mirror twins are very different. Yet, when it comes to major differences, we need to know and teach our children, we're the same.

Category: Famous Poems
Subcategory: Famous Inspirational Poems

Votes: 821
Rating: 4.48

In this beautiful and powerful poem, Maya Angelou, teaches us that we are all people, and so much more alike than different. How different the world would be if we all lived this simple truth!

Human Family

© Maya Angelou

Human Family,

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 and moan 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.

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