Diane Bondareff/Polaris
May 28, 2014 12:55 PM

Amid the sorrow of Maya Angelou‘s death, the news has also given us a renewed appreciation for Angelou’s life.

The acclaimed author, who died Wednesday morning at the age of 86, touched the lives of many through her work, which included the groundbreaking memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and decades of political activism.

But of all of Angelou’s varied accomplishments, it was likely her poetry that earned the writer her youngest fans. Simple, lyrical and emphatic, Angelou’s verses were as easy to learn as they were hard to forget.

To honor Angelou’s memory, let’s look at her work as filtered through the joy and self-assurance of a younger generation.

"Phenomenal Woman"

"Still I Rise"

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

"A Brave and Startling Truth"

"Poor Girl"

Reprise: "Still I Rise"

Reprise: "Phenomenal Woman (in American Sign Language)"

From TIME.com: 10 Questions with Maya Angelou

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