Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014
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.
A. Record your initial reaction to the poem (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page) by doing the following:
1. Describe your initial thoughts and/or feelings about the poem.
2. Describe in detail at least one aspect of the work that most interests you.
B. Analyze the poem (suggested length of 2–4 pages) by doing the following:
1. Describe the historical context of the period in which the work was written.
2. Discuss insights into the work that can be gained from the author’s biography.
3. Analyze how this work explores a particular theme and/or stylistic characteristic from its period.
4. Explain the relevance of this work for today’s audiences.
C. Discuss how the deeper knowledge you gained through your analysis has informed or altered your thoughts and/or feelings about the work (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page)
D. When you use sources to support ideas and elements in a paper or project, provide acknowledgement of source information for any content that is quoted, paraphrased or summarized. Acknowledgement of source information includes in-text citation noting specifically where in the submission the source is used and a corresponding reference, which includes:
• Location of information (e.g., publisher, journal, or website URL)