Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Still I Rise - Poem by Maya Angelou

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.

Comments about Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

  • Silver Star - 3,066 Points Dutendra Chamling (11/24/2015 3:56:00 AM)

    ....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...

    wonderful! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 7,377 Points Soul Watcher (11/24/2015 2:40:00 AM)

    What a wonderful poem .. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 25 Points Narayan Lama Aviral Yatree (11/21/2015 7:38:00 PM)

    Yes, you and everyone of us must rise in the way your beautiful lines suggest. Those who have plunged into the depths of the realities of life will definitely caress your lovely lines. When one is determined to reach the top of one's real track of life, no dirt, no mud, no freezing cold, no scorching sun, no darkness and even no most challenging storms will be ever able to stop that great journey.
    Your beautiful also seems to be sparkling with the flashes of rhymes and images. There is a melodious rhythm within the lines. I really love these lines. Expect more poems from you on life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shereen Seyam (11/20/2015 3:31:00 PM)

    Oh my God. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shereen Seyam (11/20/2015 3:25:00 PM)

    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Zahidul Islam (11/20/2015 9:45:00 AM)

    Yeah That's right! ! I'll rise! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 68 Points Margarita Serova (11/20/2015 2:43:00 AM)

    Gorgeous. One day I'll translate it into Russian, I hope (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 80 Points Ogechi Veronica (11/19/2015 6:08:00 AM)

    What a hope awakening (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Annette Lotrionte (11/18/2015 4:43:00 AM)

    Empowering, fills me with hope (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Annette Lotrionte (11/18/2015 4:41:00 AM)

    This poem gives me hope. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie PRIYANSHU SAHU (11/17/2015 11:24:00 PM)

    Best (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,647 Points Tony Kavuoti (11/11/2015 6:26:00 PM)

    Very good, I feel your pain you, your passion your strength your hope! Your vulnerability and you invincibility (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 205 Points Dylan Charles (11/5/2015 9:40:00 AM)

    The conviction to rise up and again even when you are beaten and trodden on,
    powerful (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,399 Points Kate Lechoe (10/30/2015 7:09:00 AM)

    Every time i read this poem, i feel like i can overcome anything... It is so inspiring. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 838 Points Margarita Cortes (10/29/2015 5:36:00 AM)

    I love this poem! I read it to my little girl who also loves poetry and has been getting bullied at her school, the poem definitely made an impression on her and lifted her spirits! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 279 Points Kul Rai (10/28/2015 9:22:00 AM)

    very strong poem.....wish to meet her.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 68 Points Akteruzzaman Chowdhury (10/25/2015 8:10:00 AM)


    Ce qui est mauvais dans la tristesse.
    Entendre le tintement des glaçons, le tourbillon de scotch.
    Mettez vos pieds; ouvrir un livre.
    Voila! Tu es entrain de lire.

    Si vous avez Bière ou Pina Colada.
    Vous êtes brunissement sur la plage, ou
    vous grisonnants dans une fête.
    Vous êtes heureux et stupide. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 435 Points Rishi Thakkar (10/24/2015 1:03:00 PM)

    Wow these lines are an inspiration.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cindy Cato (10/22/2015 9:43:00 PM)

    Beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Sinchan Dasgupta (10/22/2015 5:18:00 PM)

    Probably the expression of the true courage and stubbornness of the poet. (Report) Reply

Read all 690 comments »

What do you think this poem is about?

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

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 7, 2014

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