Maya Angelou is a global treasure. She has blessed us with an abundance of books, poems, and films for many years. Each time I’m fortunate to hear her speak, I always find something positive to take with me to reflect on and apply to my daily life. The poem “Still I Rise” was written in 1978 and published in her third book. Her writings are timeless and resound strongly now as if it were yesterday. In times like these, when you’re faced with various trials or tribulations in your life, take time out and meditate on your strength, determination and faith. Always know that you can overcome anything and rise above.
Listen to the poem, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
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 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 my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
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