- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A new United States “Forever” stamp honoring the late author Maya Angelou features a quote that actually belongs to author Joan Walsh Anglund.

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song,” the Angelou stamp reads.

“Yes, that’s my quote,” Ms. Anglund, 89, told The Washington Post. It reportedly appears on page 15 of her 1967 poetry book “A Cup of Sun.”

Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders initially defended the use of the quote, saying it had been widely attributed to Angelou.

But Monday night, after being told that Ms. Anglund confirmed the quote as hers, Mr. Saunders told The Post, “Had we known about this issue beforehand, we would have used one of [Angelou’s] many other works. … The sentence held great meaning for her and she is publicly identified with its popularity.”

Ms. Anglund said she heard about the Angelou stamp for the first time Monday night.

“I haven’t read all of [Angelou’s] things, and I love her things, of course,” she told The Post. “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.”

The stamp was unveiled Tuesday morning in a ceremony attended by dignitaries including first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. The Postal Service hasn’t said whether it will reissue the stamp with a different quote.

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