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Tatyana Still I Raise

Page history last edited by tatyanak 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? No matter what you do me I will remain confident & strong.
  2. Why would someone with such a difficult childhood be able to say “Still I Rise”? In the end she still carried herself high because she was brought up by strong women who helped her become who she is present day.
  3. What words support the idea that the author has had a difficult childhood? She talks about leaving behind terror & fear.
  4. To whom is the poet writing? People who look at her & judge & envey her.
  5. What does the poet mean, “I’ll rise,” and what is the impact of the repetition of this phrase? She really means what she's talking about. (No matter what you do to her you can't hold her back.
  6. Why does the author ask questions of the reader? She wants the reader to be involved.
  7. What is a key word in each stanza? (1) History, (2) Sassasiness, (3) Hope, (4) Broken, (5) Haughtiness, (6) Hatefulness, (7) Sexiness, (8) History, & (9) Ancestors
  8. What words does she use that reflect her personal style? She use words that indicates her personal style such as slaves & hurt me with your words.
  9. Find a picture for each stanza to reinforce the power and message of the poem. (1) dust raising from the ground ; (2) oil well ; (3) the word hope in the night sky ; (4) a sad little kid crying ; (5) epic smiling face ; (6) hurtful words ; (7) diamonds ; (8) a slave plantation ; (9) spirits & ghost.


Repetition: "Still I Raise"

Rhyme: fear & clear; wide & tide; etc.

Symbolism: diamonds=vauleable

Imagery: oil wells, gold mimes, diamonds

Hyperbole: "cut me with oyur eyes"

Metaphor: "I'm a black ocean . . ."

Rhetorical Question: "Does my sassiness upset you?"

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