The internet overflowed with Maya Angelou tributes yesterday, some from notables including President Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Many posted their favorite quotes from the author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but one of the best may have been the one published in an obituary in Time:

“’What I would really like said about me is that I dared to love,’ Angelou told an interviewer in 1985. ‘By love I mean that condition in the human spirit so profound it encourages us to develop courage and build bridges, and then to trust those bridges and cross the bridges in attempts to reach other human beings.'”

In that spirit, here’s a Maya Angelou poem about love, food, and joie de vivre that we found while taking a look back at her work. (Courtesy of

The Health-Food Diner

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run


Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.