Poetry Friday: Maya Angelou’s “I Love the Look of Words”

Did you know today is National Popcorn Day? It is also one of those days when I was at a bit of a loss about what to share for Poetry Friday. So I casually Googled “popcorn poems.” Maya Angelou’s “I Love the Look of Words” was one of the results. The title sounded vaguely familiar, and as I started reading it, I realized this poem is one I shared with my third graders for many years.

Angelou’s poem is a celebration of words and ideas, bouncing around in our brains like popcorn. I’m sorry this poem lay tucked away in my memory for so long. I’m happy National Popcorn Day brought it back up to the surface.

“I Love the Look of Words”

Popcorn leaps, popping from the floor
of a hot black skillet
and into my mouth.
Black words leap,
snapping from the white
page. Rushing into my eyes. Sliding
into my brain which gobbles them
the way my tongue and teeth
chomp the buttered popcorn.

When I have stopped reading,
ideas from the words stay stuck
in my mind, like the sweet
smell of butter perfuming my
fingers long after the popcorn
is finished.

I love the book and the look of words
the weight of ideas that popped into my mind
I love the tracks
of new thinking in my mind.

by Maya Angelou

Photo by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

Grab a bowl of popcorn and visit Kay McGriff at A Journey Through The Pages for the feast of poetry served in the PF Roundup.


11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Maya Angelou’s “I Love the Look of Words”

  1. Durn, there you go making me hungry for popcorn. We have a new induction stove top and it is hard to make good popcorn on it, and microwaved popcorn just doesn’t cut it for me.
    Thanks for sharing this poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ohhh, I hear that amazing voice in my head while reading these lines. Thanks for sharing.
    I’m SO glad you mentioned Nat’l Popcorn Day; when I realized it a week or two ago, I thought, “That needs to be a PF post!” (But, then, I moved on to something different which is par for the course. Glad you gave popcorn its due!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a wonderful poem for this ‘popcorn day’, Catherine. I’ve used it before, too, a great poem for celebrating writing, or starting a new poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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