Maya Angelou captures the essence of Michael Jackson and mourns for his loss in her lyrical poem, “We Had Him.” Angelou paints a portrait of Jackson’s talents and his creativity. Angelou expresses the mourning and the shock that Jackson’s fans experience due to his passing.Not only does she reflect on Michael Jackson’s life, she delineates the cycle of life and death. Remembrance and love form the theme of this poem.

Love plays a major part in the poem. Angelou captures the love that Michael Jackson receives from his adoring fans and his family. This poem also shows how Michael loves his fans and how he gives everything for them. Lines such as “We were enchanted with his passion/ because he held nothing/ He gave us all he had been given” (Angelou 38-40) and “But we do know that we had him/ And we are the world” (Angelou 46-47) calls us to remember all that Michael gives us and how he pours his being into pleasing and entertaining his fans. Using imagery, Angelou wants us to recall Michael on stage and to make people remember their own feelings and emotions for the iconic star.

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“Beautiful, delighted our eyes/ He raked his hat slant over his brow/ and took a pose on his toes/ for all of us/ and we laughed and stomped our feet for him” (Angelou 33-37). The poem also touches on the topic of grief. ” In the instant that Michael is gone/ we know nothing/ No clocks can tell time/ and no oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure/ Though we are many, each of us/ is achingly alone/ Piercingly alone” (Angelou 9-16). Michael Jackson impacts so many people and countless individuals come together to honour him; yet, they all feel “piercingly alone” because of their grief of losing this brilliant entertainer. Angelou’s poem emphasizes the actuality of mourning and the death of someone close to us. The mere idea of the title, “We Had Him,” indicates a sense of great loss.

The poem also relates to the universal truth of death and the fact that we can lose those we love in an instant. “Without notice, /our dear love can escape our doting embrace/ Sing our songs among the stars/ and and walk our dances across the face of the moon” (Angelou 5-8). The poem also sheds light on the fact Michael Jackson “was a gift to us” and we should be thankful because “we did have him” (Angelou 19).