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Equality

Maya Angelou wrote this lovely poem. I think there are several ways to interpret the poem’s message. It could be a love poem, a poem written from the perspective of an oppressed people, or the way we see each other in daily life. I wonder, “What would it be like if we found ways to be equal, in our workplaces, families, communities, and the many other places humans gather? Could we each be free?”

I am reminded of Martin Luther King’s famous line: “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last!” and Maria Montessori’s quote: Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

Can I help lift the yoke that keeps others down in some small way each day, each moment? We each need moments of uplifting and the respect that flows from it.

You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and making time.

You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

You announce my ways are wanton,
that I fly from man to man,
but if I’m just a shadow to you,
could you ever understand?

We have lived a painful history,
we know the shameful past,
but I keep on marching forward,
and you keep on coming last.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

Take the blinders from your vision,
take the padding from your ears,
and confess you’ve heard me crying,
and admit you’ve seen my tears.

Hear the tempo so compelling,
hear the blood throb through my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly,
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

16 responses »

  1. dulzimordash

    Reblogged this on Spontaneous Creativity.

    Reply
  2. I love this! I’m going to share your post on our Facebook fanpage. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  3. One of my favorite poems by her. It has such a strong punch and so many meanings.

    Reply
  4. The thing I like about poems is that each individual finds their own meaning in them.

    Reply
  5. A powerfully compelling poem that carries me a long with it’s power and it purpose.

    Reply
  6. “..Take the blinders from your vision,
    take the padding from your ears,
    and confess you’ve heard me crying,
    and admit you’ve seen my tears…”
    these are powerful words about ignorance and hate…Something to think about

    Reply
  7. WHAT A POEM!!!! yes! assuming you are speaking about equality of genders- I agree with her!

    Reply
    • I think there are so many messages in this poem about equality and they all have merit. It could be about gender, ethnicity, the workplace, etc. It is a great poem from a great poet.

      Reply
  8. What an amazing poem, thatnk you for sharing it. I also shared the lessons of music with little children in a Montessori School for years, and respect was such a huge element of our mutual understanding. I also thank you for liking and listening to Iridesense!
    namaste’

    Reply
  9. Ivon, I have nominated you for The Sunshine Award. Please see the latest posting on my blog for the rules regarding this award. I love those poems you publish!

    http://crowcanyonjournal.wordpress.com

    Reply

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