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His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  560 ratings  ·  86 reviews
He was a son of Africa who became father to a nation and, for billions of people around the world, a beacon of hope, courage, and perseverance in the face of opposition. Now, acclaimed poet Maya Angelou honors the life and remarkable soul of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel laureate.
In His Day is Done, Angelou delivers an authentically heartfel
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Random House (first published January 1st 2014)
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Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa, poetry
This is a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died in December 2013. Maya Angelou wrote a loving poem about Mandela's grace and his influence in the world. The book includes several sepia-toned photographs of "Madiba" throughout his life, and it makes a beautiful 44-page memorial.

"His day is done,
Is done.
The news came on the wings of a wind
Reluctant to carry its burden.
Nelson Mandela's day is done.

The news, expected and still unwelcome,
Reached us in the United States and suddenly
Our world be
Kevin McAllister
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who better to do a tribute to Nelson Mandela than Maya Angelou ? And in true Maya fashion, she does it with a poem. It's not by any means a long poem or book. It can be read in mere minutes because each page contains only a couple of words which are accompanied with photos of Nelson taken throughout his life. Like I said it's a short read, but I found a chill going down my spine while reading many of the pages. Give it a read for yourself. This is also the type of book that I am sure will be giv ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's not political or reglious or spiritual, it simply is a poem in gratitude. Although it is a tribute of thanks and although there are no labels. It is everything and simply is. The late great Maya Angelou was a wonder with the written word and the spoken word. The rhythms, the structure, the silences...all she has mastery over and it comes out here in this poem. There will not be another Nelson Mandela and there shan't be another Maya Angelou. People can carry the torches and pick up where th ...more
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Angelou starts her tribute with this: "To all the world's citizens, who lost a friend when President Nelson Mandela died." Well said!

This is a beautiful little book filled with Angelou's poem and historic photos from Mandela's life. The simple format makes this a nice addition to a classroom for many uses. Special little treasure of a book.
Nour Boukhris
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very short, but passionate read. Nelson Mandela was an amazing man and inspired so many in an unjust world. While he was only one person who walked this earth and this poem did not fully express his compassion and love for the world, he made a difference in more life than he probably ever dreamed.
Liv Lane
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Nice tribute to Mandela's life complete with photos, but very short to be sold as an individual work. ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Have always loved Maya's work. Some of it more profound than others, but NEVER a waste of time! So sad reading it because she wrote for everyone. Now, who will write with love for us all? ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela

Sayantani Dasgupta
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is essentially one long poem. Somehow I expected a lot more from it given its Maya Angelou's work. The two verses that will stay with me are:
"We were enlarged by tears of pride
As we saw Nelson Mandela's
Former prison guards
Invited, courteously, by him to watch
From the front rows
His inauguration."

"He has offered us understanding.
We will not withhold forgiveness
Even from those who do not ask."
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5

I really enjoyed this little book. It was very inspirational, and I loved it .

Quick but I want everyone to read it !
Dee Dee G
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short beautiful book.
V Dixon
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tribute to Nelson Mandela by May Angelou is what one would expect from Maya Angelou as it is deep and poignant in its brevity. Include in this work is are pictures of Mandela at various stages of his life. As this is a tribute and not a retelling of his life, the poem touches on the vital points in his life of public service. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words maybe this is the reason Ms. Angelou did not feel the need to write a long poem for Mandela.
At this day and this
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Age 6 & Up
Recommended to Allison by: New Book Display
Maya Angelou brought poetry back into my life through her undeniably moving inaugural work "On The Pulse Of Morning" presented during President William Jefferson Clinton's inauguration in January 1993. She passed away this summer (July 2014) and her absence has already created an unfillable whole in the cultural fabric of America. His Day Is Done may well be the last of her works to be written and published before her death. It is a tribute to Nelson Mandela, another of this world's heroes, who ...more
Ramyaa Gobi
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Nice Tribute to Nelson Mandela

A beautiful tribute to the beloved Nelson Mandela. Now here's a leader and a man capable of uniting a nation. His methods however were not always acceptable but his heart and his passion were genuine and never end apartheid. Current leaders could learn from him. If you have interest in Nelson Mandela there are other books about him and his life or see the movie Invictus for the real guy. Only a three rating because there just wasn't enough here a
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a poem in book form.
Since it was an elibrary book check-out, I'm adding it to Goodreads listing - where I can easily remember it.
Read this just days after Ms. Angelou passed away.
What can I say, but an extremely powerful tribute to Mandela.
A substantial loss to humanity in both their passings.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
He has offered us understanding.
We will not withhold forgiveness.
Even from those who do not ask.
Nelson Mandela's day is done.
We confess it in tearful voices
Yet we lift our own to say:
Thank you.

It was beautiful. Very good, indeed. If only I could have more.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Given the short amount of time in which this poem had to be written, I guess I understand why it's not as deep or complex as other works by Angelou. However, I'm just disappointed because for a U.S. State Department commission, and a work to commemorate the honorable Nelson Mandela, it is short and simplistic. Mandela's grand and far-reaching work has to speak for itself. ...more
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of Maya Angelou's finest poems. She brought her A-game. I hope if you have heard and/or seen the video tribute, I highly recommend reading the words with your own voice. The book edition is also very nice and has some lovely images of Mandela. I really enjoyed this poem. ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Maya Angelou is always a favorite, and so is Nelson Mandela so this short book was a win for me no matter what. I loved her poem, and it was nothing short of what I expected from the great poet and novelist that is Ms. Angelou.
Jasmine Holloman
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I saw this book on the shelf in my library and immediately picked it up. Even though I thought there was going to be more to it, it was a quick and easy read. A beautifully written poem by Maya Angelou, it paid great tribute to such a wonderful and inspirational man.

RIP Nelson Mandela.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, 2014-release
Good job, America. You managed to make the live and death of South Africa's national hero about yourself. When I think you cannot get your head more in your ass. If someone did this to our(Turkey's) national hero Atatürk, I would be much much more pissed. ...more
Jessica Huwae
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A small book, in terms of page numbers. It is hard not to swept away by the beauty of Angelou's words, let alone when she writes poems dedicated for Nelson Mandela.

One of my fave lines;

Never withhold forgiveness, even for those who do not ask.

Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is beautiful and it made me tear up. As beautiful as anything.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A simple loving tribute.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Maya Angelou pays poetic tribute to Nelson Mandela in word and pictures that span the course of his life time. It is a beautiful memorial to Mandela's life on all levels. ...more
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Angelou's poem expresses the deep sense of loss we all felt upon losing Mandela, as well as the reverence we all felt for the great man. ...more
Kris Patrick
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela
I would like to learn more about him.
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969) which was ...more

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“His day is done.

Is done.

The news came on the wings of a wind, reluctant to carry its burden.

Nelson Mandela’s day is done.

The news, expected and still unwelcome, reached us in the United States, and suddenly our world became somber.

Our skies were leadened.

His day is done.

We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of that final door through which no traveller returns.

Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer.

We think of you and your son of Africa, your father, your one more wonder of the world.

We send our souls to you as you reflect upon your David armed with a mere stone, facing down the mighty Goliath.

Your man of strength, Gideon, emerging triumphant.

Although born into the brutal embrace of Apartheid, scarred by the savage atmosphere of racism, unjustly imprisoned in the bloody maws of South African dungeons.

Would the man survive? Could the man survive?

His answer strengthened men and women around the world.

In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, in New York City’s Times Square, we watched as the hope of Africa sprang through the prison’s doors.

His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty.

He had not been crippled by brutes, nor was his passion for the rights of human beings diminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonment.

Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom.

When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride, as we saw Nelson Mandela’s former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration.

We saw him accept the world’s award in Norway with the grace and gratitude of the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts, and the confidence of African Chiefs from ancient royal stools.

No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn.

Yes, Mandela’s day is done, yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation, and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet.

He has offered us understanding.

We will not withhold forgiveness even from those who do not ask.

Nelson Mandela’s day is done, we confess it in tearful voices, yet we lift our own to say thank you.

Thank you our Gideon, thank you our David, our great courageous man.

We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.”
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