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

  • Paulos Ioannou Paulos Ioannou (2/3/2016 9:04:00 PM)

    Oh, Maya, rise, rise we need your poetry (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fakeha Siddiqui (1/26/2016 4:11:00 AM)

    Cause i laugh like i have gold mines
    Diggin in my own back yard.
    Beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Helen Evans (1/25/2016 3:50:00 PM)

    I'm paying a tribute to Robert Burns today, and I will defy the usual summary, by Quoting this poem, written by a poet who loved Robert Burns and was inspired by him.
    Helen Evans, presently in Rincon De Guayabitos, Mexico (Report) Reply

  • Minnie Froh (1/20/2016 2:34:00 PM)

    maya is an insipring figure for all women (Report) Reply

  • Amit Kumar Amit Kumar (1/14/2016 6:06:00 AM)

    its really awesome. it depicts a brilliant feelings of woman voice which is strong and bold enough! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Menato 10 (1/9/2016 1:03:00 AM)

    lovely poem from alovely poet (Report) Reply

  • Tierra Seymour (1/7/2016 11:36:00 AM)

    This poems is so beautiful and STRONG. It embodies everything Maya was about. (Report) Reply

  • Anshul Bhatnagar (1/5/2016 6:53:00 AM)

    Highly impressive and inspirational,
    These words would always give hope to all who read it. (Report) Reply

  • Kim Aouad Kim Aouad (12/28/2015 6:38:00 PM)

    Yet another reason why Angelou is one of my favorites...
    As someone who looks up to the phoenix, I believe that no matter how many times we are burned down to ashes, we can always rise again, as Angelou said in this poem.
    From personal experience, rising after a fall is never easy, but it is always satisfying.
    I took this poem to my core.
    Simply amazing!
    I wish I could someday be as good in writing as she is! She's a true inspiration for young writers like myself. (Report) Reply

  • Gu Chanli (12/27/2015 9:25:00 PM)












    我已奋起。 (Report) Reply

  • Khalilah Mackey (12/26/2015 12:26:00 PM)

    I love this poem it's so strong, makes me think of how no matter what someone has been through they can still rise. (Report) Reply

  • Alisha Castle Alisha Castle (12/24/2015 3:08:00 AM)

    It's a very inspirational poetry.............. (Report) Reply

  • David Cole David Cole (12/23/2015 9:07:00 AM)

    Wow! M. Angelou has given us a wonderful poem about the power of the human spirit to overcome barriers. Her use of imagery and other poetic elements are masterfully interwoven... Cheers! Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Jamie Veloso Jamie Veloso (12/23/2015 3:50:00 AM)

    From the first, when I read this. My whole entire life really sticks to it. Every single day, I try to imagine how am I going to be use. And suddenly came to this poem, everything changed! Congrats sir! Godbless you! I would like to invite you sir to read my poem named: I Clench My Heart, I do hope you will leave a comment and rates :) God bless! Merry Christmas! (Report) Reply

  • Amiegbereta Edwin Amiegbereta Edwin (12/23/2015 2:27:00 AM)

    And until that day when the trump asound And mortality to immortality To embrace the glorious shine... From glory to glory we rise (Report) Reply

  • Simran Kaur Simran Kaur (12/22/2015 4:29:00 AM)

    ....That attitude tho..: D
    She is such an insipring figure for all females and gives us all confidence to RISE and shine ;) (Report) Reply

  • Sally Plumb Plumb (12/22/2015 3:42:00 AM)

    a guiding light..... (Report) Reply

  • C.r Rankwe (12/20/2015 12:19:00 PM)

    Fantastic, inspired! (Report) Reply

  • Cosheila Bihag Cosheila Bihag (12/19/2015 4:17:00 PM) awesome... (Report) Reply

  • Chetan Pandey Chetan Pandey (12/16/2015 8:40:00 PM)

    Terrific poem........ One of the best inspiring works (Report) Reply

Read all 725 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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