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Maya Angelou ~ Still I Rise

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Tiffany Raque

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of Maya Angelou ~ Still I Rise

Born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri
Influences

A Brief Glance...
Poetry Analysis - TPCASTT
ATTITUDE | Angelou's attitude is one of ferocity; she keeps her head up and doesn't mind the world around her, always continuing to push onward.
Poetry Analysis - TPCASTT
THEME | Humans are resilient. Despite great, overwhelming obstacles, we still manage to persevere with our lives and goals.
Poetry Analysis - TPCASTT
TITLE | Despite many falls, this person still continues to get up and brush the dirt off.
& Tiffany R.
Maya Angelou ~ Still I Rise
American author & poet
"I've learned that people will forget
what you said, people will forget
what you did, but people will
never forget how you made them
feel."
~Maya Angelou
Received over 50 honorary
degrees
Reynolds professor of
American Studies at
Wake Forest University
Exploring A Poem
1 MEANING
This poem focuses on the importance of persistence and perseverance. Angelou describes the adversity she faces and the obstacles in her life and the way people judge her. But after every description of the negative around her she shows a positive attitude and that she doesn’t let those problems bring her down; she continues to rise.
Still I Rise
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.
a
h
d
t
w
l
x
Maya Angelou Through the Years
"There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts
can obscure the truth."
~Maya Angelou
Authors Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allen Poe all shaped her writing style..
Her innovative use of fiction-like techniques when writing her biographies was ground breaking, especially in her first and also most famous:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Bibliography
A Brave and Startling Truth
A Conceit
A Plagued Journey
Alone
Awaking in New York
California Prodigal
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Awards & Prizes
nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her volume of poetry, ''Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die''
Served on 2 Presidential Committees
Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, highest civilian honor in the U.S
Works Cited
PARAPHRASE | No matter what you throw at her she can still get back up. She's a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself. She rises because that's who she is, she rises.
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CONNOTATION
|
Repetition - the repetition of the phrase, "still I rise" paired with the fact that it's the title, emphasizes her level of determination and perseverence.
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SHIFTS |

almost every stanza contains a shift in tone which accentuates her points.
each stanza is a different emphasis on the way she overcomes.
each stanza constains 2 lines of negative diction followed by 2 lines of positive diction.
TITLE | The title serves to set the scene for the entire poem. She uses the phrase of the title throughout the entire piece, and the repetitive nature makes clear what the entire point of the poem is.
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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.
Maya Angelou, 1928
Maya Angelou is an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist.
Exploring A Poem
3 DIVISION INTO PARTS
1)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.//

2)Does my sassiness upset you?//
3)Why are you beset with gloom?//
4)'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.//

5)Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.//

8)Did you want to see me broken?//
9)Bowed head and lowered eyes?//
10)Shoulders falling down like teardrops.//
11)Weakened by my soulful cries.//

12)Does my haughtiness offend you?//
13)Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.//

EXPLORING A POEM
4 THE CLIMAX
From the 8th stanza until the end is the climax of the poem. “Out of the huts of history’s shame…” This is when Angelou shifts from addressing a specific person/ audience “you” and focuses on the bigger picture. She addresses what not only she has overcome, but what African Americans in general have overcome “… the dream and hope of the slave”.
2 ANTECEDENT SCENARIO
Angelou addresses racial and gender stereotypes throughout all of her works, but especially in this poem. She responds to the prejudice and injustice that she sees in the world around her. In the poetry book that this poem was published in, the previous poems all address the hardships of her early life and the lives of people around her. This poem starts out a section of poems focusing on rising up after all these hardships.
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.//

6)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?//

7)Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise//
14)Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise//
15)I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.//
16)Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise//
17)Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise//
18)Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.//
19)I rise
I rise
I rise.//
5 THE OTHER PARTS
The first stanza opens with talking about how words have no power over her. The second stanza talks about how she has confidence and a positive attitude. The third stanza compares the certainty of nature with her resilience and determination to rise against struggles. The fourth stanza addresses what society wants to see her as. They want to see her weak and broken because of the hardships that she has faced. The fifth stanza talks about the attitude she actually has and that she has confidence despite what she has gone through and who she is. In the sixth stanza she confronts the people that try to cut her down and come against her and says that she is unstoppable and that she will rise no matter what they do or say. The seventh stanza focuses on the power and importance and confidence she has as a woman. The eighth stanza addresses the obstacles she has faced and overcome as an African American. The final stanza talks of the things she is leaving behind and all that she has gained through her struggles and perseverance.
Exploring A Poem
Exploring A Poem
6 THE SKELETON
The poem mostly shifts back and forth from a tone of acceptance of what people have or done to one of defiance and resilience. These shifts happen between the first and second stanzas, the fifth and sixth stanzas, sixth and seventh stanzas, seventh and eighth stanzas, and halfway through the eighth stanza.
7 GAMES
Lyric poem, could be seen as an autobiography poem, but Angelou doesn’t focus just on her own life but on the struggles of African Americans and the shame of slavery and racism.
8 TONE
Defiant and Reslient
9 AGENCY
Throughout the poem Angelou herself is the agent, in some cases she refers to a “you” who tries to break her down or wants to see her weakened. But for the most part, Angelou is the driving force in the poem as she is the one who is still rising.
10 ROADS NOT TAKEN
This poem could have been written in third person and could have spoken of how “she” rises. But by writing in first person, the reader can better connect to and understand both Maya’s struggles and strength.
11 Speech Act
The poem begins with an invitation, then a resolve, then a question, followed by another question, then a boast, then a resolve, then a question, and another, and another, and another. Then a command, followed by another invitation, then a resolve, then a question, and another, then a resolve and another, then self-presentation, then resolve, and another, and it ends with self-presentation.
12 STRUCTURAL FORMS
Rhyme Scheme; lies/rise, gloom/room, tide/rise, eyes/cries, hard/yard, wide/tide, fear/clear, gave/slave.
A, B, C, B
Black is used to create a sense of evil.
13 IMAGINATION
The similes & metaphors: "That I dance like I've got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs" and "'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines diggin' in my own back yard."
"Maya Angelou." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/maya-angelou>.
Bildir, Hita. "The biography of Maya Angelou." Poemhunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.poemhunter.com/maya-angelou/biography/>.
Angelou, Maya. "Maya Angelou - Biography." Maya Angelou - Biography. Maya Anglou, n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://mayaangelou.com/bio/>.
Emily H, Hannah W,
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