New Maya Angelou Postage Stamp Includes an Embarrassing Mistake

Whoops! The United States Postal Service recently decided to honor the late Maya Angelou with her very own postal stamp, and they wanted to include one of her countless inspiring quotes.


They ended up choosing, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." Absolutely gorgeous words. One problem -- they're not Ms. Angelou's.

The real author of the quote is apparently Joan Walsh Anglund, and it comes from her 1967 book, A Cup of Sun. She told the Washington Post, "Yes, that's my quote." OK, in all fairness, doesn't it sounds like the kind of thing Angelou would say? Even the title of the book, A Cup of Sun, sounds like some thing the poet and author may have penned.

More from The Stir: Legendary Poet Maya Angelou Dies: Her 11 Most Inspirational Quotes

Add to that Angelou's autobiography, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, it's not hard to see why the quote was mistakenly attributed to her. A Postal Service rep even claimed that the chosen quote was approved by Angelou's family.

The USPS later recanted, saying, "Had we known about this issue beforehand, we would have used one of [Angelou's] many other works."

Thankfully, Anglund is being incredibly gracious about the whole ordeal. She said, "I love her things, of course ... But I think it easily happens sometimes that people hear something, and it's kind of going into your subconscious and you don't realize it."

Hey, there are worse things in life than having your words accidentally attributed to one of the greatest poets of our time, right?

Would you have ever caught this mistake?


Image via USPS

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