Still I Rise - Maya Angelou (Reading Log)

Topics: Black people, White people, Race, Maya Angelou / Pages: 4 (885 words) / Published: Jun 3rd, 2013
Still I Rise
Maya Angelou
The poem ‘Still I Rise’ written by American author Maya Angelou is written from the perspective of Maya herself. She is speaking to her audience of oppressors about how she has overcome racism, criticism, sexism, and personal obstacles in her life with pride and grace. It describes her personal struggle through life and how she managed to pull through and how she will continue on her life journey. This poem is historically rooted with mentions of slavery, a “past of pain” and “gifts of ancestors”; she is however speaking in the present and how she is embarking on a new journey.
Throughout this poem we are introduced to various themes and symbols, a strong symbol being the ‘rising of the dust’. Dust only rises when it becomes unsettled from the ground and then it forms a dust cloud. Once the dust is unsettled it can leave and rise, “But still, like dust, I'll rise” This relates to Maya’s overcome of obstacles throughout her life. I feel sorry for Maya and other African-American people as they lived such a different life to what I live. I also feel inspired from what Maya has done, throughout all her hardships she has kept going and never gave up. No matter who brings her down, she will always find a way to come out strong. This inspiring poem made me realize how lucky I am to live in such a peaceful country. I personally find this poem very emotional, I think it is about being proud of who you are and where you have come from, and not to let anyone’s expectations of you bring you down. Maya is saying she's just as good as the rich women. Don't look down on her because she's black or poor or works at a low-paying job.
Maya has conveyed her imagery through similes and metaphors, “you may shoot me with your words”. The metaphors and similes are strong, and relatable. We have all felt the pain of cruel words and the feeling of being completely torn apart. I myself cannot personally relate to this poem but I have talked to classmates who

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