Poetry

Still I Rise

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Life has a way of knocking us down.  When it does, we may find it difficult to pick ourselves up.  Our strength and courage are weakened.  Our self-worth is shattered.  Faith and hope may seem as if they are nowhere to be found.  It is in trying moments like these we need a friend to whisper a word or two of encouragement into our ear.  Encouragement to remind us that even though the trials we endure are painful, we will still rise, and be strengthened by the experiences that had once made us feel week and powerless.

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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’ve got gold mines,

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

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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