Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” poem is powerful – and inspires us to be our most courageous selves! Like much of her work this poem offers hope, and determination to rise above struggle and discouragement.
Because as this COVID-19 crisis continues, as we also continue to unearth social justice issues – this poem reminds us to be strong and resilient – to grow from difficulty, and to hope for a better future for all.
Use this “printable” with yourself and your family, clients – and you can share it in your newsletter or on Social Media too!
In an interview in 2008, Maya said of her poetry: “You know, if you’re lonely you feel you’ve been done down, it’s nice to have ‘And Still I Rise.'”
You can find this poem “Still I Rise” in her third volume of poetry published in 1978. This poetry volume was called “And Still I Rise” and contains 32 short poems including another popular poem “Phenomenal Woman”.
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
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.