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
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou is the next addition to my posts on influential women. Personally I believe that regardless of the era, the same problems still appear to be on loop in society; we are sadly facing the same injustices in life that we anticipated to have shown some progression. Whilst still understanding that the depiction of women hasn’t greatly changed over the years, it is important to look onto strong characters that resonate with you as an individual.
Still one of Maya’s most powerful poems today, Still I Rise, speaks with so much confidence, sassiness and strength, that it is hard not to feel inspired. The poem itself can can be open to interpretation and can also be personal to each reader as it consistently carries on the message of hope.
Still I Rise, which was published in 1978, is a poem about self-respect and confidence. Maya endured a life with many ups and downs, the poem expresses how Maya was able to overcome anything with high morale and how nothing could bring down her high spirits.
We all have our low moments in life – in mine I was suggested to watch Maya perform Still I Rise. Now I will say, reading the poem does allows more room for interpretation, however, watching Maya perform this is priceless. Maya when performing this poem is the depiction of sassiness and confidence. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to watch!
The beautiful and iconic poem, has managed to make its appearances over the years, in moments when we all need to be reminded to keep hold of hope.