Maya Angelou's guide to life in 12 tweets: 'Listen to yourself'

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    Image: Dr Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou: 1928-2014

    The American author, poet and activist first touched readers with her coming-of-age autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

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    American legend -

    Maya Angelou, born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis as Marguerite Annie Johnson, was an author, poet and political activist. She died on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, N.C., at age 86.
    Angelou poses for a photo in London on Sept. 20, 2005.
    AP
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    First step -

    Angelou began her career as a dancer and writer. She poses in this 1957 photo at the Caribbean Calypso Festival.
    Everett Collection
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    Literary sensation -

    Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" was her first book, a coming-of-age autobiography that recounted her childhood and early adult years, including her experience of becoming a teenage mother.
    AP
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    TV history -

    Angelou stars with Cicely Tyson in the 1977 television mini-series "Roots." She played Kunta Kinte's grandmother.
    Everett Collection
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    Inaugural fame -

    Newly sworn-in President Bill Clinton reaches out to hug Angelou after she delivered her inaugural poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," on the west steps of the Capitol during inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1993.
    Mark Lennihan / AP
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    Educating in the neighborhood -

    Angelou makes a 1995 guest appearance on Sesame Street in a skit called, 'A New Way to Walk.'
    Sesame Workshop
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    Civil rights icons -

    Angelou and Coretta Scott King, left, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., speak to the media after visiting Betty Shabazz, the widow of slain civil rights activist Malcom X, at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y., on June 2, 1997.
    Jon Levy / AFP - Getty Images
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    Poetry in motion -

    Angelou speaks to a crowd at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus on Sept. 11, 2000, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Angelou, who spoke on the healing and saving nature of poetry, encouraged the crowd to become the composers of their own lives.
    Dan Nierling / Cedar Falls Courier via AP
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    National treasure -

    President Clinton congratulates Angelou after presenting her with the National Medal of Arts during ceremonies at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 20, 2000.
    Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images
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    Talking the talk -

    Angelou talks with reporters before giving a reading at the Abyssinian Development Corporation's 10th Annual Renaissance Day of Commitment Leadership Breakfast in Harlem, N.Y., on June 15, 2004.
    Justin Lane / EPA
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    Rallying the delegates -

    Angelou speaks before delegates during the second night of the 2004 Democratic National Convention at the Fleet Center in Boston on July 27, 2004.
    Gary Hershorn / Reuters
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    Farewell to a friend -

    Angelou speaks during the funeral services for Coretta Scott King at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., on Feb. 7, 2006. King, the wife of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., died Jan. 30, 2006, at the age of 78. Seated behind Angelou is President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush.
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    Making 'Madea' -

    Angelou, left, director Tyler Perry and actress Cicely Tyson are seen on the set of "Madea's Family Reunion" in 2006.
    Everett Collection
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    Helping another Clinton -

    Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton holds the hand of Angelou during a conversation in front of an audience at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., during a campaign stop on April 18, 2008.
    Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images
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    A voice for the Voice -

    Angelou attends the memorial celebration for Odetta Holmes, an American singer, actress and activist, at Riverside Church in New York City on on Feb. 24, 2009. Holmes, called the "Voice of the Civil Rights Movement" died at age 77.
    Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images
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    Birthday wishes -

    Angelou shares a moment with Naomi Judd during a celebration of Angelou's 82nd birthday with friends and family at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., on May 20, 2010.
    Steve Exum / Getty Images
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    More presidential praise -

    President Barack Obama kisses Angelou after presenting her with the 2010 Medal of Freedom at the White House on Feb. 15, 2011.
    Tim Sloan / AFP - Getty Images
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    Friend, mentor -

    Oprah Winfrey, right, laughs with Angelou during the taping of "Oprah's Surprise Spectacular" in Chicago on May 17, 2011. Angelou found something of a spiritual soul mate in Oprah, who she met in the 1970s when the future talk show queen was still a TV anchor.
    John Gress / Reuters
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    Portrait of an artist -

    Angelou talks with Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art, at Angelou's portrait unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on April 5, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
    Paul Morigi / AP
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    Honoring the activists -

    Angelou speaks during a ceremony to honor South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 21, 2008.
    Jim Young / Reuters

Maya Angelou's inspiring and moving writing made her a legend, but she was often just as poetic in 140 characters online as she was in print.

The award-winning author and literary icon, who died Wednesday, sent only 255 tweets in four years, but when she did take to the social network, her posts were like mini poems. Her last tweet, posted on May 23, is a fittingly serene final message:

A scroll through her Twitter account leaves us with a kind of Maya Angelou Playbook for Life, with her lasting thoughts on all kinds of topics, from how to be (and find) a good friend:

How to love:

How to find happiness:

How to be successful:

Watch Maya Angelou on TODAY in 2008: Maya Angelou shares life lessons

How to forgive:

How not to compromise on your quality of life:

Watch Maya Angelou on TODAY in 2004: Maya Angelou's soul food

How to appreciate every day:

And how to fight against what was wrong in the world:

Watch Maya Angelou on TODAY in 2013: 'My son is my greatest gift'

She was thankful for her friends, and generous with her gratitude:

And while her tweets were instantly quotable, she also wasn't afraid to quote herself:

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