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Analysis of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"

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Analysis of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"

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The poem I have chosen to write a detailed description and interpretation of is Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise'. In analysing the chosen poem I will be considering the ways in which my own knowledge, experience and cultural identity might have an influence in the way I have read and interpreted the poem.

This poem is very strong and powerful, as a reader I can sense this in the title of the poem, 'still I rise'. If the reader does not know the origin of the author I guess that it will be hard to tell what the poem is actually about and whom it is targeted to. We find the answer to whom the poem is written about in the last stanza (where it mentions 'slaves' 'ancestors'); from this I could tell that it is a poem about the author herself who is a black African American women and the painful past of black people. I would say that the poem reflects the rising of the status of black people in America as well as other countries. In the first verse the rhythmic pattern is of a regular 9. 7, 9, syllable pattern until the last line where the pattern of the syllables change to 6, '²But ^Still,| 0/00like Shdust, |

I find this poem quite funny and sarcastic in the way Maya asks questions within the poems verses. These questions, with no doubt, I would say are asked to the 'white people' or the 'haters' of the origin the author is. 'Does my sassiness upset you?' 'Why are you beset with gloom?' I suppose Maya is being some what playful in asking these questions, because she knows she is wealthy and she knows that she has come along way as well as the black people in America, to ask these questions in a playful way, to the people who do not appreciate her and also who are surprised of the success she has reached.

There are many multisyllabic words in each of the verses and there is a rhythmic flow of the poem as I read it out loud to myself. . The second verse has a regular rhythm pattern of 8,7,8,7, syllable lines, which is also the same for verses four, five and seven,...