Written by Maya Angelou in 1978
Still I rise is a poem about second changes, redemption and integrity. It emphasises how people will manipulate others, push them around and talk about them, but still that person will get up and walk on with their head held high. The tone of the poem is strong and positive. The poem is filled with metaphors, similes and various language aspects that make the poem a great tool for teaching poetry within an English classroom context. The main theme of the poem is discrimination, and the poem focuses on the poet’s views and aspects of society’s opinion on an individual that does not necessarily meet all of their requirements. The Rhyme scheme in this poem is a constant and repetitive one, with rhyming words in each stanza; “Lies – Rise, Gloom – Room, Wide – Tides, Rise – Eyes, Hard – Yard.” The poem is also filled with repetition, mainly “I rise I rise”, which emphasises the message of the poem. The message of the poem explains how an individual should stay strong and never allow anything or anyone to stop them from fighting and living strong. By repeating a word, it gives the word power and significance in the poem. The poet makes use of questions throughout the poem, by questioning the readers in the poem; it draws the reader’s attention. This is affective because it allows an opportunity for the reader to realize the importance of the message behind the poem. This allows the writer to interact, in written words, with the reader on a more personal level.