U.S. Postal Service Issues “Forever” Stamp For Maya Angelou With Quote From Different Author

ST-maya7341428096065The U.S. Postal Service not only has issues with a new limited edition “Forever” stamp honoring Maya Angelou with a quote written by another author but it doesn’t appear particularly disturbed about it. The stamp above features the quote “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” However, that is a quote from child book author Joan Walsh Anglund.

Someone changed Anglund’s quote to replace “he” with “it” and then left the impression that it was a quote from Angelou who has ample quotes of her own worthy for a stamp.

The quote was taken from Anglund’s 1967 book of poems “A Cup of Sun.”

I view the use of another author’s quote for this commemorative stamp to be terribly insulting and embarrassing but it did not seem to bother the U.S. Postal Service. Spokesman Mark Saunders admitted that he was unaware of the Anglund quote, but told the Washington Post that many people mistakenly attribute the quote to Angelou. This includes President Obama who used the quote, pointing out that “numerous references” attributed the quote to Angelou.

Indeed, President Obama attributed the same quote to Angelou during the presentation of the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. Again a bizarre and embarrassing use of another author’s work. Saunders however dug deeper into the hole and insisted “The sentence held great meaning for her and she is publicly identified with its popularity.” Perhaps but it is not her work. It is like a stamp honoring the great architect Mies van der Rohe with the image of a Le Corbusier building.

What is truly bizarre is that between the Postal Service and President Obama, Anglund appears to be losing credit for her own writing. It is now becoming “associated” with Angelou and that appears to be enough for the government.

The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda.

Source: Washington Post

51 thoughts on “U.S. Postal Service Issues “Forever” Stamp For Maya Angelou With Quote From Different Author”

  1. @Steve F

    Thank you!!! I have to admit, it took a while to come up with “Cadged Bard”…:)


    Oh, don’t start the two citizen parent stuff. You can just click on my image, go there, and correct any misconceptions you still have.

    @ trooperyork

    LOL! on the plagiarists!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. The stamp is honoring Maya Angelou’s long standing career as a plagiarist.

    They have one coming out for Joe Biden, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose.

    It’s a set.

    1. trooperyork – let’s not forget Alex Haley when we list major plagiarists.

  3. If you understand the PO as the military you understand that it executes a model that would not produce profit for any organization. In a normal economy, the PO charges mailers for its costs and does not use tax money.

    The PO is not business, it is infrastructure. Think of the PO as a highway. It might have potholes or rough spots that need some correction. Do you zealously criticize your highways?

    The PO is compelled by law to deliver to every address, every day, including Saturday when UPS is enjoying a day off. Kinda nice, huh?

    UPS skims off the cream of delivery points.

    1. Thomas – UPS delivers here on Saturday. And now they are delivering to centralized boxes. I have to go to a box in my neighborhood to get my mail.

  4. Assuming the efficacy of public school, every person can read of the definitive ineligibility of anyone but a “natural born citizen” “born in the country, of parents who are citizens” as established by the legal text and reference of the era, the Law of Nations, which the very French speaking American Founders kept constantly at their side, accepted, quoted from and employed.

    There is no doubt that a candidate for the office of the Presidency must be a “natural born citizen,” “born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the SCOTUS and Speaker Pelosi, charged with candidate scrutiny, should be impeached and convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors (i.e. treason, insurrection, nullification).

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    1. Lets all go out and buy one of these spiffy collector items before they are all gone and you just gotta love that saying “A bird bird in the basket is worth more than two in the bush”

      No? “Yellow Bird up High in the Cannabis Tree”

      Oh, wrong song I know “The bird just has some kinda beautiful song to sing and it don’t havta mean nothin or something like that”



        1. Oh come on Paul The Bird just sings cause it does noot cause it gots something to say? That’s a classic for sure.

  5. Another blatant, public example of sheer bureaucratic incompetence with no accountability… Seems we get a new example every day. Yet government keeps getting bigger and bigger…

    I know, I know… The USPS is not a government agency… wink, wink.

    For non-government agencies, the USPS and Amtrak burn through more taxpayer dollars than several small states!

  6. I have a poem of the utmost profundity and cogency for Barry Soetoro which follows:

    U.S. Constitution
    Article II, Section 1, Clause 5

    “No Person except a natural born Citizen,…”

    Law of Nations
    § 212. Citizens and natives.

    “…natural born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”


    Reprints available.
    Footnotes and below:

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 5

    “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

    § 212. Citizens and natives.

    The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.

  7. Uncle Joe Biden was once embroiled in a scandal where he admitted to plagiarism. I guess this stamp, using someone else’s words, is no big deal. Par for the course.

  8. We should get some toilet paper with the head of the Post Office face printed there on and a statement underneath. If the foo itShays, wear it.

  9. How could they do this to Angelou and Anglund? She wrote “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” so did they think a quote with a bird in it was close enough, or was Obama their sole authority?

    With the rise of the Internet, many artists have had their work stolen, copied, changed, or lost credit. For the Post Office to do so on a commemorative stamp adds insult to injury. Of course Obama will get a pass because he’s Teflon, but the PO should have put some effort into it. They’re government employees, though, so it’s what we’ve come to expect.

  10. It may have been an honest mistake (though one that should be corrected) as Angelou did play off of this quote in the title of her first Autobiography, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

  11. Based on the interview that OXA posted, it’s possible that someone’s got their lines crossed somewhere. It would have been a lot better to do some research first, and ensure that the quote was directly attributable to Angelou

    Even better, take a quote out of “I know why the caged bird sings”.

    …And I’m not sure if you’re serious or just trolling there Patriot. Interesting point of view anyway.

  12. I should respond with my current favorite quote which I have caged from someone

    “At this point, what difference does it make!!??!?!”

    (Throwing my hands in the air and making a constipated face)

    1. Dust Bunny Queen

      Is your Avatar inspired by “Why does the Caged Bird Sing”

  13. This is what happens when everything has an agenda driven motive. Also when you have totally incompetent people who are woefully over educated and woefully under-smart.

  14. The judges are still out, did Paul win the prize for simply referring to Obama but not using the name? Does he still merit a point? Tune in later to find out folks. No wait there is another contender, busseja. And, he did use Obama. But he is disqualified for lack of creativity and relying on foul language. The prize goes to Paul.


    It is important not to base one’s opinion on the impact of foul language. Peripherally foul language like, ‘Beats the hell out of me.’ is acceptable but your post was vacuous at best.

  15. Patriot

    And, a Putiniste or should that be Putinite? Still a hell of a pianer player.

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