Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

Amazing Peace: A Christmas PoemContinuing our exploration of respect in relation to end-of-year celebrations and inspired by Marjorie’s beautiful post on The Christmas Menorahs, today I highlight Maya Angelou‘s Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem (Schwartz & Wade, 2008).

Although written in a Christmas spirit, the poem’s resonance is far more broad, as it encourages one and all to “Come away from rancor. Come the way of friendship.” A sound piece of advice to humanity in this day and age when wars and conflicts still happen in the name of religion.

As seen in the excerpted verses below, her poem is a call for peace and unity:

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

These words go straight into the heart, don’t they?

Do you know of other books for children that speak of people from different faiths coming together during the holidays? Would you recommend them? Please do share so we can all learn about how others have “come the way of friendship.”

2 Responses to “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou”

  1. Corinne Robson Says:

    Aline -
    There will be a tree based on this book at the Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature event. I’ve been keeping an eye out so see if anyone uploads some photos from the event as I would love to see some of the 2009 trees. Pooja Makhijani just emailed me 2 photos of a tree done in 2007 that was based on her book Mama’s Saris. I will upload the photos on to the blog this weekend.

  2. Corinne Robson Says:

    Aline – When I did my post on the Family Trees event I spent some time researching this book as one of the trees at the festival is based on it. Now I’m off to the bookstore to get some copies of the book to give out as Christmas gifts. The poem really sticks with you doesn’t it!