The late Maya Angelou is one of America’s greatest poets and her memory is being honored by the United States Postal Service on one of its new Forever stamps.
However, the USPS used a quote from Maya that actually was a quote from children’s book author Joan Walsh Anglund and the USPS has actually owned up to their mistake!
The quote reads, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
And here’s what the original quote writer, Joan Walsh Anglund had to say about the mix-up:
“I haven’t read all of her things, and I love her things, of course. But I think it easily happens sometimes that people hear something, and it’s kind of going into your subconscious and you don’t realize it.”
The USPS aren’t the first ones to mix up this quote as President Barack Obama actually did the same exact thing when he referred the quote as being Maya Angelou’s during the 2013 National Medal of Arts and Humanities presentation.
Here’s what USPS spokesman Mark Saunders said in a statement:
“Maya Angelou cited this sentence frequently in media interviews and other forums and it provides a connection to her first memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The sentence was chosen to accompany her image on the stamp to reflect her passion for the written and spoken word. The sentence held great meaning for her and she is publicly identified with its popularity.”
Although even the spokesman admitted they probably should have used a quote from one of her “many other works” — had they “known about this issue beforehand.”
But we guess the stamps have been printed already, and it’s too late to change all that!
Still, as long as they’re paying tribute to Maya Angelou, we doubt many people will have too much of a problem with this!
It’s the thought that counts, right?
[Image via AP Images.]