Maya Angelou 2008 Olympic Poem “Amazement Awaits”

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Big City Pictures recently produced a two-camera film shoot of the world-renown author and U.S. Poet Laureate Dr. Maya Angelou at home in her Harlem brownstone reciting the poem Amazement Awaits (full text below) which she wrote specially for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing China. The piece is intercut with archival footage of great moments from Olympics past and will screen on NBC during its August coverage of the games. Also, we’re thrilled to find out that the Olympic Committee will be distributing copies of this inspiring video to each and every athlete to view while they travel to Beijing to compete — we’re terribly honored to in some small way touch the lives of the 2008 Olympians.

maya angelou amazement awaits olympic poem 2008 front view granny smith green apple curtains pearls necklace poetry reciting 16mm film camera shoot photoAs a Greek-American, I was pleased to have the opportunity to help spread the true spirt of the Olympic Games. In fact, Dr. Angelou’s last name is taken from her first husband surname was Angelopoulos. It was quite an experience speaking with the amazing Dr. Maya Angelou who is in person sincerely lovely, generous, imaginative and outspoken. Without prompting, she provided copies of two wonderful children’s books which she had written and autographed each to one of my twins Sophia and Hudson.

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Dr. Maya Angelou recites Amazement Awaits for an NBC Olympic short film

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Team Maya Angelou 2008 Olympic Poem "Amazement Awaits"

Client: McGarryBowen Agency

Client: United States Olympic Committee

Katya Bankowsky, Director

George Spyros, Executive Producer

Tracy Zukowski, Line Producer

Kat Uhlmansiek, Production Manager

Kira Kelly, B-Camera Operator

Jeanne Lipsey, Director of Photography

Jon Montgomery, Gaffer

Justin Lundstrom, Production Coordinator


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Executive Producer and Creative Director

George Spyros with Dr. Angelou

maya angelou george spyros hold hands author photoAmazement Awaits
By Maya Angelou

Sheer amazement awaits
Amazement luxuriant in promise
Abundant in wonder

Our beautiful children arrive at this Universal stadium
They have bathed in the waters of the world
And carry the soft silt of the Amazon, the Nile,
The Danube, the Rhine, the Yangtze and the Mississippi
In the palms of their right hands.
A wild tiger nestles in each armpit
And a meadowlark perches on each shoulder.

We, the world audience, stand, arms akimbo,
Longing for the passion of the animal
And the melody of the lark
The tigers passion attend the opening bells,
The birds sing of the amazement which awaits.

The miracle of joy that comes out of the gathering of our best, bringing their best,
Displaying the splendor of their bodies and the radiance of their agile minds to the cosmos.
Encouragement to those other youth caught in the maws of poverty,
Crippled by the terror of ignorance.

They say Brothers and Sisters, Yes, try. Then try harder.
Lunge forward, press eagerly for release.
The amazement which awaits is for you.
We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can compete passionately without hatred.

With respect for the world and its people,
We can take pride in the achievement of strangers.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can share openly in the success of friends.
Here then is the Amazement
Against the odds of impending war

In the mouth of bloody greed
Human grace and human spirit can still conquer.
Ah … We discover, we ourselves
Are the Amazement which awaits
We are ourselves Amazement.

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