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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou - Poetry Review

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by Juran Hakim (subscribe)
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Published June 20th 2014
(Courtesy of

A dignitary to say the least is an expression rightly reserved for the thoughts and processions that spur Maya Angelou's written word. The poem Still I Rise is of such passion and yet pain that with each repetition of the words 'Still I Rise', imbues more and more of an emotive vigour; willing with each stanza for the reader to read on. The femininity of the prose cannot be unidentified, because just as much as Angelou's self-belief and poise is prominent in the piece, so is her beautification of being a woman:

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?'

There is an almost overpowering quintessence that rises to the brim but strays from over spilling in Angelou's lines; this same spirit could be acknowledged as being conceited or arrogant, on the contrary, Maya Angelou's Still I Rise is apparent and clear that the words are frothing and seething with an ingrained confidence that would noticeably take the world to break.

The beginning line of the poem 'You may write me down in history' already shows a steadfastness and resolution, which entail sets the tone and forms the essential blueprint needed for the rest of the poem to follow up in spur and haste.

The four line stanzas structure the poem well, and is only broken by the last two verses, though as the poem draws to a close the proclamation 'I rise' becomes more frequent, as if a tidal wave of emotion is about to burst the banks and at long last does so as the prose draws to a close.
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