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Still I Rise Analysis



Author: Poetry of Maya Angelou Type: Poetry Views: 2289

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.

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 back yard.

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.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

wow, this is really beautiful and conveys a special message, it is clear that maya is proud of her origins , the poem explains how she overcomes great obstacles and opression with grace,

| Posted on 2013-02-03 | by a guest


.: :.

wow, this is really beautiful and conveys a special message, it is clear that maya is proud of her origins , the poem explains how she overcomes great obstacles and opression with grace,

| Posted on 2013-02-03 | by a guest


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Rhyme Scheme
- lies, rise
- gloom, room
- tides, rise
- eyes, cries
- hard, yard
- eyes, rise
- wide, tide
- fear, clear
- gave, slave
With the exception of the last stanza, the rhyme scheme is A,B,C,B. In the last stanza
Just like moons and like suns – simile
Comparing how she continuously raises herself up emotionally to stay strong just, like how the moon and sun rises everyday no matter what happens.
I’ll rise; I rise – repetition
By repeating these words it makes the words that much more powerful and makes it stand out and also emphasises Angelou’s message, which is to stay strong and to never allow anything or anyone stop you from fighting and living strong.
Does my sassiness upset you? ; Do you want to see me broken? ; Does my haughtiness offend you? ; Does my sexiness offend you?
By questioning the readers (“you”), it catches the reader’s attention and is affective because it makes readers realize how many people have made the person (“I”) feel and how many people may be feeling, it makes readers read the poem and take it to a more personal level.
oil wells; gold mines; diamonds – metaphor
These are often known to be expensive and valuable, and Angelou is relating these to the value of herself. She is worth just as much as everyone else and therefore she should receive just as much respect and love like others.
Shoulders falling down like teardrops – simile
Comparing how a person’s shoulders drop as they lose confidence in them self and when feeling down, similar to how tears drop done one’s face when upset or hurt.
At the meeting of my thighs
Expressing her sexuality of being a woman
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide
The colour black is usually used to create a sense of fear and evil. A “black ocean” seems to describe an ocean that is full of cruelty and how things occur unexpectedly. This may be referring to how her own life is, full of horrific and unexpected events. The “black ocean” may also be describing her own race which allows readers to understand that the poem is about racism.
Still I Rise has a positive and strong tone throughout the entire poem. The words Angelou used also makes it seem as though the character in the poem is talking to the readers. By doing so Angelou got the readers to get more personally involved in the poem emotionally which helps to make readers realize how humans are all guilty of discriminating others in some form. The poem should be read with confidence, especially in the parts “I’ll rise and “I rise” to show the strong attitude the person (“I”) has about them self. In some lines for example “’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines” the tone changes almost to a point where the reader is chuckling like how it says in the poem.
The main theme in the poem Still I Rise is discrimination. This poem portrays a strong person living with a positive attitude. Although the poem was written in 1978, the message portrayed in it is very powerful and can be related by anyone even in this time period. This poem is very straightforward which makes the message that much more meaningful and affective. At some point in life everybody experiences discrimination, although it may be in different ways and extents it is a struggle that all people go through within their lifetime. This poem teaches readers that all humans have strength that lays within us that can help to overcome any obstacles. This poem also makes readers realize the importance of having pride and hope in ourselves. The line “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave” shows the importance of having appreciation in those in previous generations for what they have done for us and what they have left. Also, the line “I am the dream and the hope of the slave” shows how Angelou believes that one person stepping up to make a difference or to have their voices heard will not only help themselves, but it also has a potential of helping those who are also suffering from the same or similar discrimination.
There are many forms of discrimination, and there is always someone in the world trying to overcome these obstacles, hence why this poem is still famous and read today. Through this poem Angelou created an inspiring message for those who were also suffering what she had suffered, racism and stereotypes due to her gender. There are also many other inspirational people who have fought for the rights of their own and also for the rights of others, and Jackie Robinson and Abraham Lincoln are prime examples. Jackie Robinson was the first black man to become a professional baseball player. He proved many people that race does not determine how well of a player someone can be. Robinson broke the separation among the different races and what he did also contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Abraham Lincoln is considered to be one of the most memorable U.S. presidents of all times, this is because he fought for the rights of black people and freeing slaves and Southerners. What this heroic man did changed the lives of many people at that time and has also influenced the lives of many people today. The reason why people argue is to have their voices heard and because they are trying to make some kind of difference. For example, a child may cry and wine to their parents so their voices can be heard and because they want to be understood and they are too young to know any other ways of doing this but to wine or cry. Trying to have your voice heard and trying to prove your rights for yourself and for others is not easy, it requires a lot of courage and commitment, however once a person can overcome the obstacles that they face throughout their way they can create a big difference. Humans are very strong, we have so much potential that we should pride and have faith in, and we are to not allow anything to stop us from becoming a strong independent person; this strong message is portrayed throughout this poem through the eyes of a person struggling from discrimination, a struggle humans all go through and a one that everyone can relate to.
This poem is written with Maya Angelou herself as the speaker. She is speaking to her audience of oppressors about how she has overcome racism, criticism, sexism, and personal obstacles in her life with pride and grace. This poem is historically rooted with the mentions of slavery, a “past of pain,” and “gifts of ancestors,” however she is speaking in the present having overcome all of the hardships of her past and embarking on the rest of her journey with the knowledge that she is a strong African American woman. Still I Rise is about overcoming oppression with grace and pride, having no sympathy for the oppressors and giving to validity to the reasons for oppression.
There is rhyme every other line for most of the poem that immediately guides the reader through the poem. The phrases “I rise” and “Still I rise” are used repetetively throughout the poem to show that the speaker continues to overcome each situation of oppression and each oppressor. Imagery is dominant in this poem, especially after Angelou questions her oppressors. She gives the us images like “I walk like I’ve got oil wells /Pumping in my living room” and “Shoulders falling down like teardrops” and ” I dance like I’ve got diamonds/ At the meeting of my thighs.” There is also the repeating image of air and dust rising. Much of her imagery is conveyed through similes and metaphors. This usuage of figurative languages gives us a very clear picture of what Angelou means and usually conveys a strong emotion. For example, when Angelou says “Shoulders falling down like teardrops,” we get an image of drooping shoulders (like the shape of a tear) and the tear itself is immediately associated with sadness. The two of these combined makes the images even stronger. The poem is more a narrative than anything else because Angelou interacts with her audience as she talks about the highs and lows of her life and histo

| Posted on 2013-01-25 | by a guest


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This is powerful in the words and meaning, I am a Junior and I\'m doing a research paper on her and she is a phenomenal woman and writer..

| Posted on 2012-12-18 | by a guest


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i think this poem means that no matter what, you should contine to up with your head held high at all times, with pride and grace.

| Posted on 2012-06-21 | by a guest


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Maya Angelou can be described with one word:GREATNESS. Her high self-esteem shown in this poem is a reminder to all african american women that we are our ancestor\'s keeper. Everything we do in life has consequences but also rewards. /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./

| Posted on 2012-04-25 | by a guest


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im in year 11 and i have to annotate this poem for my english assignment. obviously being black, one of the poems that popped into my mind was this one. i love my black history, and you know what, without slaves or racism our world wouldnt be what it is today. people would not be as close as they are today. nowadays you see black people so close to white people because of histories past. i know for a fact that god does every for a good reason, and so ironically i wouldnt want to have history changed because it makes me who i am today. i thank my ancestors and slaves because they make me stronger and more immune to pain.
peace.

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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im in 6 th grade to and im doin it for a project it so awesome

| Posted on 2012-03-03 | by a guest


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I used to be a poet like you until I took an arrow to the knee!

| Posted on 2012-03-02 | by a guest


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I LOVE THIS POEM. This my most favorite poem that realy means alot. It means dont worry about what other people say about you or doubt you cuz you know u can do it and just be brave and all those who doubted you are goin to come back to you wen u succed

| Posted on 2012-02-24 | by a guest


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I love this poem and Im studing it for my LAMDA Examination. It\'s great. May God Bless her.

| Posted on 2012-01-04 | by a guest


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\"Still i rise\" is a remarkable poem with themes of racism and discrimination shown to a women and her ancestors through slavery but unlike most slaves she stands tall and doesnt let anything or anyone put her down she is who she is and no one is going to change that she uses rhetorical questions to show her confidence this is a great peom i hope i pass my exam discussing it!

| Posted on 2011-10-24 | by a guest


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still I rise is a poem which is a sort of encouragement not only for women but also to men... it says that whatever or however the society discriminates you.. you yourself should know how to rise.. be courage....

| Posted on 2011-09-16 | by a guest


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Sup Cousins im 14 and im from Australia, I have just finished deconstructing this poem and i was surprised at the amount of poetic devices she used eg. like air i rise is a simile repeated throught the poem and methphors like You may shoot me with your word, cut me with your lies and kill me with your hatefulness Maya is one awesome poet. The message I got from it was you must resist oppression, discrimination and belittling and move foward with you life.

| Posted on 2011-08-28 | by a guest


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this poem iz awesome GUYZ!!! im doing it for a project. im in 6th grade. the meaning is that no matter what happens u should not give up!!:)

| Posted on 2011-05-30 | by a guest


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so guys.
dis is lyk clearly the bust poem out dere. guys. keep listeninng. guys. i find eet like gud. so so gud. guys. keep listening. i got ijmportnt stuff to say. guys. its so gud. ex oh.

| Posted on 2011-05-23 | by a guest


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i love this poem so much!! maya angelou tells us how even through hardships and histories cruelty and past, she rises up. this poem is an indication of the infinite power of angelous reilience!

| Posted on 2011-03-03 | by a guest


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I believe this is one of the most amazing piece of work.I love this poem dearly for the simple fact that it can change a person\'s change of thought. A person can see positive and not let anything take over them.
Selena Downs

| Posted on 2011-03-01 | by a guest


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Always believe i yourself, and dont let other people put you down.
From Ben Stiller

| Posted on 2011-02-06 | by a guest


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I think that in this poem that she is explaining that yeah she is a slave and you may be thinking im gonna become nothing and die being nothing but soon im gonna prove you wrong and im gonna make something of myself. Then one day your gonna apoligise for what you did and said to me. And that no matter what im gonna rise above you everytime and that your jelouse of me. thats why you treat me the way you do. that is what i think she is saying in this masterpiece of hers.

| Posted on 2011-01-30 | by a guest


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this shows i can go through any words evenif it hurts me

| Posted on 2011-01-26 | by a guest


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Reading this poem brought a lot of things into mind. I believe this poem is an assurance to others that no matter what the situation, how hard someone is trying to belittle you or how bad it can be, like her, you can overcome it and learn from it. Growing up maya angelou had to fight racism. People were constantly scrutinizing her for who she was, dissing her and putting her through a terrible time, yet she still held on to hope and loved herself for being who she was. I think we all need to learn from her and take on her example.

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


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since life has a cyclical and an unending structure, one can and has the right to take pride in its imaginary conditions...atleast \"hope\" is an individual domain, which does not requires permission...falling in love with this poem...

| Posted on 2010-12-16 | by a guest


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This POEM DESCRIBES THE TOUGH UPBRINGING SHE HAS HAD TO FACE AS MAYBE ALWAYS BEING THE ONLY BLACK PERSON IN THE CLASS. ALSO SHE IS FIT SO PEOPLE DONT WANT HER BECAUSE SHE IS A \'NEGRO\'

| Posted on 2010-11-26 | by a guest


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dis poem bout a guud lyfe growinnnn upp stronga nd makin betta tymes in a bad situation. ok. its a gud poem for everyone to readdd

| Posted on 2010-11-22 | by a guest


.: :.

Aight so hear me out nuckas
So is like dis, aight?
Der\'s dis Gansta, his names Stilleyerize, right?
Guys stay with me
Guys
...Guys listen
So stilleyerize
Guys
Guys listen, are you listening
So it\'s about stilleyerize and slavery and opression nd makin wrld good, right
Guys?

| Posted on 2010-11-15 | by a guest


.: :.

i tink its bout guy who dus gud and halps kep world big and guud.

| Posted on 2010-11-10 | by a guest


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i think that this is an amazing poem and something that i think is very intresting is how she says she sexy, and at the time in which this poem was made the sexiness of a women was something that was not usually talked about, also the part \" like i have diamonds at the meeting of my thighs

| Posted on 2010-09-27 | by a guest


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This poem is excellent it describes how much struggle she went through and even though she was put through bad things she said still i rise

| Posted on 2010-09-20 | by a guest


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This is an amazing poem about rising above stereotypes as well as moving forward. It uses varied sentence types, tone, imagery, and similes to highlight the frustration the speaker feels toward others\' treatment of her. Maya Angelou is a truely amazing poet.

| Posted on 2010-09-18 | by a guest


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the poem is really nice i dont really think of it as a racism thing but i feel it just has to do with people hatin and always wanting to see someone down and lower then themselves and i also feel shes explaning how if the haters try and get to her and push her down no matter what shes still gonna rise

| Posted on 2010-09-15 | by a guest


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This poems is aboot racisms and things likes that. And how linkin parks are oppresive to listens to.

| Posted on 2010-09-13 | by a guest


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This poem has been an inspiration to people from all different walks of life.Still I rise is an amazing poem that not only speaks of the troubles of slavery and Maya\'s struggles in life but I think this poem is also a victory call a banner of hope and encouragement to all those that have faced trails and tribulations in their lives.Still I rise has many different meanings to many different people but one common message stands tall and that is no matter what struggle you face in life you have the ability to rise above it. Maya\'s poem reflects a lot on human nature and the inner strength we all have to fight back against whatever life throws at us. I personally love this poem as it has been my rock and encouragement through all the bad times and the good!

| Posted on 2010-08-30 | by a guest


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I THINK THE POEM IS BASICALLY ABOUT INSPIRATION ONE GETS IN HIS/HER LIFE, IT TALKS ABOUT RISING UP NO MATTER WHAT OBSTACLE YOU MIGHT FACE AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND IN ANY SITUATION U NEED TO RISE AND BE STRONG BECAUSE TODAY IS OVER AND TOMORROW IS WAITING,MEANING THINGS THAT HAPPENS TODAY WON\'T BE THE SAME TOMORROW. WITH A LITTLE ENTHUASTIC,BELIEVING IN OURSELVES, STANDING TALL AND KEEPING OUR HEAD UP HIGH.IT IS A GREAT POEM I\'VE EVER READ,I CAN RELATE TO IT.

| Posted on 2010-08-18 | by a guest


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I think that this poem has universal messages. Yes, one can see the theme of slave oppression but I think this poem is about surviving any oppressive relationship. It can also be interpreted as a woman surviving an abusive relationship with a man and overcoming her subordanace. I think most abused woman can relate to this. I guess this is why the poem is so powerful as its theme is about overcoming oppression and dominance and rebirth.

| Posted on 2010-08-17 | by a guest


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this poem is a good poem
i like how the author expressed her feeling strongly

| Posted on 2010-05-15 | by a guest


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This poem refers to the way black people used to be descriminated against profusely and how they were at the suffering end of inequality for a long period of time. However Maya Angelou dismisses the common stereotypes of her race and stands up to the people who treated her ancestors so badly. She uses many literal devices to emphasise the meaning begind her words and her poem is full of emotive imagery that allows the reader to connect to what she is saying.
becca

| Posted on 2010-05-12 | by a guest


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Its truely insperational a story about her rising above stereotypes and how she has been treated xx

| Posted on 2010-05-09 | by a guest


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Really great poem. I love the fact that not only did it bring out the strengths of blacks in history, but it also brings out the insecurities of whites.. bravo..
latina 12 yr old

| Posted on 2010-03-25 | by a guest


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This poem was a nice poem. I think she did a wonderful job explaining her true feelings that most of us can not put in words. Im glad my prof chose this poem for our assignment.

| Posted on 2010-03-24 | by a guest




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