I don’t have much to add to Tim’s post below. I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of hers — or any other poet of the last 50 years. But she always struck me as a dignified and impressive lady. What did come to mind was her treatment on The Simpsons (I’d hoped she played herself, but apparently not). It was at a book fair, and Angelou was on a panel along with Tom Clancy and Amy Tan. Kent Brockman was moderating:
Kent: Alright, does anyone have a question for our panel that’s not about how much money they make? [Audience’s hands go down]
Lenny: [at microphone] Uh yeah, I’m a techno-thriller junkie, and I’d like to know, is the B-2 bomber more detectible when it rains?
Kent: Oh, what do you think, Tom Clancy?
Clancy: Well, the B-2–
Lenny: No, no, no, I was asking Maya Angelou!
Angelou: The ebony fighter awakens, dabbled with the dewy beads of morn. It is a mach-5 child, forever bound to suckle from the shriveled breast of congress.
Lenny: Oh, Maya, you’re a national treasure!
I should add that while Angelou was describing the B-2, Moe is stunned, exclaiming, “Maya Angelou is black!?”