Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Bad Quote on Maya Angelou Stamp

Ouch!  This has to be embarrassing.

It seems that the U.S. Postal Service has managed to mess up the whole Maya Angelou stamp issuance thing before it even happens.  

According to the Washington Post, the quote attributed to Angelou on the stamp is not even hers:
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song,” the Angelou “Forever” stamp reads.
“Yes, that’s my quote,” (Joan Walsh) Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems “A Cup of Sun,” published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from “he” in Anglund’s original to “it” on the stamp.
In the Postal Service's defense, they are not the first to make this particular mistake.  Over the years, that quote has become linked in the minds of lots of people to Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.


  1. Oh wow, that's a big forehead thumping doh! You'd think someone would have source checked it or something.

    1. That's what kills me about the fiasco, Stefanie. It is just so easy to verify quotes on the internet these days, that I can't imagine why somebody didn't spend the five minutes required to do it. Maybe the quote is just so associated with Angelou, that the Postal folks thought it was a no-brainer not requiring verification. Doh! is right.