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"still i rise" Poem Reflection
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
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.
The poem Still I Rise is written by Maya Angelou in 1978 who is an american poet ,a civil- rights activist etc.. This is an uplifting poem generated to people of color all over the world. The diction and references that Angelou uses refers to the past and present time of how people of color and slaves were treated and looked upon. It shows a glimpse of how people regarded them in society. however , Angelou rights this from a stances of pride and encouragement of the black culture and our african root. It starts off by stating “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.” as well as “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.” She really uses the appeal of pathos, smile and allusion to get her message across to both races.
The reason why she starts off by saying ‘you’ is to signify who she is talking to as she writes this poem. Her intent is to show that we as a people are not afraid nor affected by the harmful threats, words or acts cruelty show against us to oppress our spirit, souls and body. Instead it proves how confident she is in her roots and heritage as she states “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.” she is not ashamed of who she is or the barriers that society/ white people has put on her and her culture instead she uplifts her heritage/roots and lets it mold her into an amazing women. By doing this it shows others what they are capable of and helps them to embrace their roots. A secret message that could be presumed in this poem is to show white people/oppressors how much stronger we are than them and that we are overcomers no matter the circumstance or situation which is why they fear us and feel so threatened by us. So the try to enslave us and deprive us so we can not reach our God given potential.