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Still I Rise

Page history last edited by easrai 8 years, 9 months ago

Still I Rise              

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?

 

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.

 

The message within the poem.  The questions below are aimed at helping you get the MEANING of this poem. 

  1. What does the title mean?
  2. Why would someone with such a difficult childhood be able to say “Still I Rise”?
  3. What words support the idea that the author has had a difficult childhood?
  4. To whom is the poet writing?
  5. What does the poet mean, “I’ll rise,” and what is the impact of the repetition of this phrase?
  6. Why does the author ask questions of the reader?
  7. What is a key word in each stanza?
  8. What words does she use that reflect her personal style?
  9. Find a picture for each stanza to reinforce the power and message of the poem. 

 

 

 

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