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

  • Jez Brul (6/23/2018 8:13:00 AM)


    We will rise, too, dear Maya Angelo. You are truly an inspiration. 💟💖💗 (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Bri Edwards (6/20/2018 9:34:00 PM)


    (cont.) ..

    Rise, Maya, Rise!

    Unlike my wife's bread-dough starter,
    YOU RISE!
    That this poem impressed so much...
    was a surprise.
    It was not the first I've read from her, '
    and more I may read, but I'm not sure.
    There are SO MANY poems on this site,
    and poets too. That ALL aren't read ain't 'right'! ! : (
    (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (6/20/2018 9:33:00 PM)


    (cont.) ...maybe if they had let more slaves in America learn to read and write, there would be more black poets immortalized. to MyPoemList. bri (cont.) (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (6/20/2018 9:23:00 PM)


    though you are dead [did you rise? ] i am going to read this poem by a celebrated poet, who, some, feel should not be so prominently featured on PH! so far, after reading to the following LINES, i am VERY IMPRESSED. this poet may be (almost) as skillful and humorous as i am! ! ! to MyPoemList, even before the ending.
    THE LINES: That I dance like I've got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs? ...this makes me want to go diamond prospecting! (cont.)
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/20/2018 3:45:00 PM)


    As you rise, so we rise too Ms Angelou. Thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (6/15/2018 8:09:00 PM)


    Robert Murray Smith loves Young Boy (Report) Reply

  • (6/15/2018 7:35:00 AM)


    trtyhrtyhrthgyrtghrtghbrtghrtghrthg (Report) Reply

  • (6/15/2018 4:01:00 AM)


    the poem is so super fine.....it inspires me to be proud as a woman (Report) Reply

  • Marguerite C. Anderson (6/13/2018 3:38:00 AM)


    Whenever I need empowerment as a woman, I revisit this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (6/12/2018 6:55:00 PM)


    This is an absolutely wonderful and inspiring poem (Report) Reply

  • (6/12/2018 12:14:00 AM)


    Wonderful! Wonderful! (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2018 12:22:00 PM)


    these poems are very inspiring and just give my courage to rise up! and makes me feel better even when my live is rough. (Report) Reply

  • (6/5/2018 7:54:00 AM)


    amzing poetry by an amazing personf (Report) Reply

  • (6/1/2018 10:20:00 PM)


    My favourite poem.. (Report) Reply

  • Ribash Dotel (6/1/2018 2:08:00 AM)


    A very embellished poem which straightly goes deep down the heart and make shivers me
    all along.
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/31/2018 11:56:00 PM)


    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • (5/30/2018 11:01:00 PM)


    A very beautiful poem with lots of meaning. (Report) Reply

  • (5/27/2018 6:27:00 PM)


    Ms Angelou! ! Simply amazing - and it is her voice in my ear delivering this inspiring message. Thank you again Ms Angelou. (Report) Reply

  • (5/25/2018 6:45:00 AM)


    Love this very, very munch. (Report) Reply

  • (5/25/2018 3:53:00 AM)


    Wonderful (Report) Reply

Read all 1040 comments »

# 2 poem on top 500 Poems

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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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