Earlier this week, one of the brightest lights in American literature passed away at the age of 86. Maya Angelou was a living legend beyond her home country of the United States. The love and respect that readers the world over have for her is only likely to grow in posterity. Beyond being a poet and writer, she was also an educator, producer, director, actress, musician, and civil rights activist. And, yes, at one point, a sex worker as well -- something she was not ashamed of.
The fire in leaf and grass so green it seems each summer the last summer. The wind blowing, the leaves shivering in the sun, each day the last day.
Poets are not, usually, household names in our world today. Certainly not in the West anymore. However, there are some countries where poets are known amongst the masses and their works are recited from memory in everyday conversation. In India, poetry gatherings, known as mushaira or mehfil, still manage to attract crowds of thousands from time to time. And the Indian poet and writer, Javed Akhtar, is one such popular persona. He is more well-known as an award-winning Bollywood movie scriptwriter and songwriter. But his Hindi/Urdu poems and ghazals are also more appreciated than, say, the works of his Western contemporaries in their respective homelands.