Poem of the Week | Still I Rise

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Can I just say before I dive into this week’s POW, that I’m super proud of myself for actually remembering to do it. I’m really working on my follow through, guys. Now if only I could get caught up on my book reviews…

Moving on.

This week’s POW was chosen with Black History month in mind, as well as yesterday’s post on Andra Day.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou was published in 1978 in Angelou’s third book of poetry And Still I Rise. The poem, which was one of her favorites, refers to the indomitable spirit of Black people.

I like to think that this poem can transcend race. Baring in mind that it was written during a time when race what a hot button issue, I think today it’s an affirmation to anyone who’s ever felt pushed down or low. I really want to get a print of this and frame it somewhere in my apartment so it can forever be a constant reminder to Rise.

Still I Rise 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.

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