Still I Rise Poem By MAYA ANGELOU

Still I Rise Poem (by Maya Angelou: Summary and Analysis)

The Still I Rise poem is a type of protest poetry that is both rebellious and jubilant. It is about the capacity of the human spirit to triumph over adversity and injustice, with Angelou explicitly representing her thoughts as a black American woman. This article analyzes the poem in different sections.

Still I Rise Poem By MAYA ANGELOU

Still I Rise Poem by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

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Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Summary of the Poem

Still I Rise Poem By MAYA ANGELOU

With a clear and explicit reference to “you,” Angelou begins her poem with a clever wordplay: “write in history” may imply both “write the history of me and my people” and “write me down,” which refers to exaggerating my accomplishments.

Although some people might try to make fun of her and other African-Americans, Angelou claims that even if she is treated like dirt, like the dust that comes up from someone’s boot, she will still rise and will not be overcome.

Stanza II

In the second stanza, Angelou directly questions the listener. Is her sexuality, self-assurance, and beauty troubling you? She exudes confidence and moves with the wealth of an oil baron.

And (turning to the third line) she will continue to rise, just like the sun and the moon do every day and night, just as our aspirations for a better future endure despite adversity.

The moon picture alludes to the tides of the sea, which are as predictable and dependable as the sunrise and sunset every day and are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull on the oceans of the planet.

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Stanza IV

There are several additional queries in the fourth stanza: Angelou claims that the intended recipient wants to have her spirit crushed.

However, she declares her “haughtiness” in the fifth stanza by holding her head high rather than bowed in surrender or defeat.

She chuckles with the assurance and self-assurance of someone who has gold mines in their backyard and wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

Stanza VI

In the sixth verse, Angelou declares her defiance: “Hatefulness” (a term that can denote both “detestable attitudes” and “hatred for others”), nasty words, and unfriendly looks may be hurled at her and other black people, but they will rise “like air”: naturally and gently.

Stanza VII

The second line’s reference to “sassiness” is brought up again in the seventh verse, but this time they have converted it into overt sexiness.

Another version of Angelou’s earlier-mentioned confident swagger is that this time, she appears to have diamonds at the “meeting” of her “thighs.” Finally, the material and affluent have met and fused to become the corporeal or sexual.

The quatrain structure used up to this point in “Still I Rise” is abandoned for the final fifteen lines of the poem, which include many repetitions of the refrain “I rise.”

According to Angelou, she and others have emerged from the “huts of history’s shame” over how black people have been treated throughout history.

Indeed, a new dawn that is brighter and more hopeful is emerging as she leaves behind those gloomy periods of “horror and fear.”

Her ancestors, who endured years of racial prejudice after being forced to work as slaves, dreamed of such a moment, and it has now come to pass because to the hardships and fights of Civil Rights activists like Angelou. This is their “present” to her.

Indeed, a new dawn that is brighter and more hopeful is emerging as she leaves behind those gloomy periods of “horror and fear.”

Her ancestors, who endured years of racial prejudice after being forced to work as slaves, dreamed of such a moment, and it has now come to pass because to the hardships and fights of Civil Rights activists like Angelou. This is their “present” to her.

Analysis of Still I Rise Poem

Still I Rise Poem By MAYA ANGELOU

The poems and autobiographies of Maya Angelou both emphasize the value of overcoming the difficulties and trials life presents to you.

The message of her poetry becomes much more stirring when “you” refers to an African-American lady who experienced more adversity than was fair growing up. Angelou had experienced adversity.

Maya Angelou consistently affirms the good and inspiring qualities of humanity despite these challenges, including growing up as one of the few black girls in the town in Arkansas where she spent ten years of her childhood.

One of her most well-known poems, “Still I Rise,” asserts these life-affirming qualities in humanity.

Although Angelou acknowledges and even directly addresses the many injustices and discriminations that black people have experienced throughout history, the poem’s overall theme is upbeat and uplifting.

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Despite not being intended to be sung, the poem “Still I Rise” can be categorized or classed as a lyric poetry since a single speaker said it and reflects her sentiments.

Because of authors and activists like Angelou herself, the poem is both a personal lyric that draws on Angelou’s difficult background and experiences and a poem about a country emerging during the Civil Rights movement.

Most of the quatrains in “Still I Rise” use the rhyme scheme abcb. The poem has a lively, surprising vibe because of the varying line lengths, syllable counts, and beat counts in each line.

It is a part of a vibrant spoken-word tradition that reconnects poetry to its oral beginnings; they are lines designed to be uttered aloud in a living voice while being recited, chanted, or proclaimed.

And it’s probably best to view the poem’s final stanza’s transition from more structured abcb quatrains into a less predictable form as a broadening out rather than a breaking down because the poet’s passion, assurance, and optimism erupt and are no longer contained by the traditional four-line stanza form.

Thus, the last lines of “Still I Rise” take on a shape that corresponds to their meaning: they are rising above the past (represented by the more conventional quatrain) and becoming something more unique, energetic, and tailored.

We hope the above analysis of the “still I rise” poem meets your understanding. Do well to share this with your poetry community.

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