poet Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

#3 on top 500 poets

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread 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.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003
Poem Edited: Thursday, August 7, 2014

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Still I Rise # 2 poem on top 500 Poems
4,4 out of 5
2530 total ratings
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Comments about Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

  • sophia (11/29/2020 8:20:00 AM)

    It’s wonderfully written in rhymes

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  • Loyd C Taylor SrLoyd C Taylor Sr (11/27/2020 6:37:00 AM)

    Hello poet friend Maya. Very arresting and direct poem, great message and lesson. Well done!

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  • Silas Grunk-Nilsen (11/24/2020 2:56:00 AM)

    this inspired me to let my slaves free. thx for doing this

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  • Silas Grunk-Nilsen (11/24/2020 2:55:00 AM)

    this inspired me to let all my slaves free. thx for doing this

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  • muhammda Abdulhamid kumo (11/19/2020 11:53:00 AM)

    Of course you may not forget on the board of revenge

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  • Msizi Brian (11/17/2020 5:03:00 AM)

    Who is the “You“ and “Me“ in the poem

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  • Off Off (11/16/2020 8:32:00 AM)

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  • Claude H Oliver Ii (11/4/2020 11:52:00 AM)

    I had to read this poem today(11/04/2020) . I was so disappointed when I went to bed. I wished that news could have been more hopeful. When I awoke this morning, I felt despair and wondered what faced me today. I thought of this poem and felt the connection to the ancestors and their struggle and hope with far less than I have. I would not be here if they had not been. I rose with hope. the

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  • Hannah Løj (11/3/2020 4:25:00 AM)

    Why does almost everybody in the comments talk about how they earn money? Talk about the poem! It's beautiful.

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    You have described everything so beautifully

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Read poems about / on: history, dance, ocean, dream, fear, hope, pain, rose, spring