Still I Rise

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.

Maya Angelou
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10 thoughts on “Still I Rise

  1. I freaking LOVE that poem. Every time I see it in different places from different people, it always gets me. So powerful, so easy to relate to on some levels and yet terrifying to relate to on others. Something to live up to, I guess. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Your so welcome Jennifer. The first time I heard it Oprah had Maya read it on her show. A very powerful piece of work.

  3. Sofi says:

    What a beautiful poem, love it and you write so well. I don’t have wordpress yet but you do inspire me. thank you. Love and light
    Sofi

  4. I love this poem! I used to make sure all my students knew it and could use it as a mantra should they ever feel put down by anybody. Thank you for sharing it with all your readers.
    I came to your blog because you very kindly chose to follow me. You too, now have a new follower! 🙂

  5. Certainly, my pleasure.

  6. lkbartel says:

    Very inspiring poem, it makes me think about a kind of rant/poem that I wrote a couple months back about not listening to discouraging comments and to always follow what your heart says. Thanks(:

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