‘Still I Rise’ is a poem written by Maya Angelou, an African-American poet, and civil rights activist in the 1960s. She has struggled at many times in her life; when her parents divorced at the age of three, being raped by her mother’s boyfriend just after moving back to live with them, and refusing to speak for five years because she felt guilty for reporting the crime. The poem portrays an ironic response towards people who have persistently put her down, due to the fact that she is now overcoming this, and is most likely having a better current life than her last oppressors. The reader can comprehend Angelou’s strength to continuously fight her battles against subjugation towards her and others of the same race and gender. The basis of
‘Still I Rise’ was written by an Afro-American poet Maya Angelou and consists of a mixture of tones, such as: playful, angry, comical and bitter. Slavery was long abolished but Angelou saw its effects on society and black people. In this poem she declares that no hatefulness of society will determine her success. In the poem ‘Still I Rise’ she is not only proclaiming her triumph but also calls others to stand up for themselves and live against society’s expectations.
In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Angelou uses various stylistic devices and rhetorical strategies such as similes and metaphors. Angelou’s use of similes are used in order to describe her own character. In this, Angelou remarks “For nearly a year, I sopped around the house, the Store, the school and the church, like an old biscuit, dirty and inedible” showing that Angelou's inner feelings of not being good enough to be picked or loved. Correspondingly Angelou felt her skin looked “dirty like mud” showing her inner insecurities of her skin colour being unattractive. The sense of Angelou’s insecurities can also be seen with the use of metaphors regarding Angelou's skin as she remarked “I was described by our playmates
“You have tried to destroy me and although I perish daily I shall not be moved,” (Angelou, 2014), says Maya Angelou in her Commencement speech to the 1992 Spelman College graduates. Poet and award-winning author, Maya Angelou, is most well known for her poetry, essay collection, and memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou happened to be the first black female cable car conductor who later started a career in theatre and music (Maya Angelou: Poet and Historian, n.d.). Once her acting and musical career began to take off, Angelou began touring with productions and released her first album Miss Calypso (Maya Angelou Fast Facts, 2017). Later, Angelou earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in the play Look Away and an Emmy Award nomination for the work she performed in the television mini-series Roots (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Angelou was also the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Out of the number of poetry collections Angelou published, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die happened to be her most famous collection that was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). The focus of this paper is to critique Angelou’s credibility, sincerity, and appeal to her whole audience in her delivery during the Spelman Commencement Address in 1992.
The poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, addresses White people who discriminate African Americans. During this period of time, Black people were not being treated equally, with this poem Angelou wants to defend African Americans. As a civil rights activist it is her job to fight for people's rights. By employing simile, imagery, and repetition, Angelou defends African Americans against their oppressors and shows that people have to be confident and strong, and not feel put down but rise above their problems.
“Still I Rise”, written by African-American writer Maya Angelou, includes a character who rises “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain.” No matter what words are said against her, lies are told about her, threats are made towards her, or words are written against her, she takes the past and uses it to fuel her confidence. The way she writes creates a deep sense of pride and feeling, while giving the poem life and helping the audience realise that they, too can rise. The diction, literary devices, and theme help the speaker portray her feelings about the topic of oppression in her experience.
The author of “Still I Rise” is Maya Angelou, a well-known poet, author, and civil rights activist. This poem is about a poet who struggles to meet the social pressure and injustices of her time. Her poetry thus concentrates on two kinds of oppression – both racial oppression, and sexism. Amidst the challenges and adversities, she managed to survive and successfully claims that she will not be broken nor will she be defeated no matter how many times she is brought down by society. In this poem “Still I Rise”, I will be looking at critical works by Sandra Cookson, R. B. Stepto, and Lyman B. Hagen and stating why I agree with them.
Still I Rise, by the African American poet Maya Angelou, offers a different mixture of tones.(Assertive, Confident, Pride and Sarcasm)Ultimately, however, the poem’s tone, as the work’s title suggests, that the poem will be persuading the reader to never give up. The poem’s first word—“You”—is important. This is a poem clearly putting others in the place of others. It is not simply a private, lyric meditation. Much of its energy comes from its bold and strong feeling. The poem presents us with a black woman willing to speak up for herself, the poem is both highly political and highly personal. The author is finally responding to decades and even centuries of depression and mistreatment. Her tone, then, never sounds unintelligent or mean. Instead,
In Sara Constantakis’s critique and explanation of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, she reveals the bare bones of Angelou’s confidence, determination, and pride she has in her race to rise above societal normalities and expectations. The author introduces the idea that the so called perfects of our society would view Angelou’s attitude toward her degraded lifestyle as disturbing. The reality is she refuses to get dragged down by their prejudice and racism. I agree with this idea as Angelou writes that no matter what the perfects say or do, she will rise above them, not letting them affect her happiness. Constantakis also points out the poet’s direct confrontation of the perfects in saying she will not give them the satisfaction of knowing they
Perhaps the reason that Maya’s poetry has had such a lasting impact on Americans is because of her poems such as ‘Caged Birds’ and ‘Still I Rise’ that demonstrate the issues that African – Americans faced, which she has done through the power of her words. She also challenges the readers with the theme of oppression that is carried out through her pomes as she felt very strongly about it by being surrounded by it her entire life. Maya Angelou has left an everlasting mark by influencing the society through her poems by inspiring others to persist towards their goals and dreams with strength and pride. Overall, Maya Angelou’s work can be attributed to the fact that her personal and cultural experiences of power have not been forgotten by overcoming adversity and oppression, which is clearly reflected in her inspiration body of work seen
Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” written in 1978, acknowledges the racism and segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. During this time, although no longer slaves, the African Americans have been given little rights and opportunity in America. Maya Angelou wrote this poem to prove to other American citizens that she is unfazed by their hate, while she strengthens her people’s motive to reach equality. Angelou utilizes metaphor, imagery and repetition to reveal how proud she is of her minority’s strength.
In the poem ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou, the poet uses repetition, metaphors and similes to express to her audience about how she has overcome racism in her life through demonstrating a strong, proud and defiant attitude to inspire others.
Strength is one of the themes in this poem ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou. Strength is a universal theme. This poem was written from a woman’s point of view but not just any women an African-American woman. This is enhanced with direct references of ‘sexiness (line 25), sassiness (line 5), and diamonds at the meeting of my thighs’ (line 27). However, the poems thematic power lies in this applicability. Angelou’s sonnet is commanding by the way it delineates people who confer themselves to saving and triumphing over a foe that wishes to evacuate their voice. The closing of the first stanza explains this. ‘You may tread me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise (line 3-4) these words cold be uttered by a person who has marginalized
Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is an emotional coming of age autobiography set in the nineteen thirties – forties, focusing on her struggle with self-acceptance, insecurities, and prejudices. This journey is vastly explored throughout the United States such as, Arkansas, St. Louis, California, and even outside of the U.S. like Mexico. She travels with her brother to visit different members of their family, with each location having a story to tell. When she is three years old, she and her brother, Bailey, are sent to stamps with their grandmother after their parents got divorced. Notoriously in the South, segregation and racism is omnipresent. Here Maya is brought up by “Mama”, her grandmother. The siblings understandably feel abandoned by their parents after realizing they weren’t dead like they’d coaxed themselves to believe.
Maya Angelou is one out of the best known poets. She has written a lot of poems that inspires and assist people with their lives. She has a “desire humbleness to learn and experience all that life has to offer her” (gale biography in context, “Maya Angelou More than a Poet”) which makes her poems have a meaning to them. In addition, Maya Angelou got a lot of pieces of poems considered equality to her experience as a human of the United States during race times and her experience as a person who worked with other civil right activist. Maya Angelou uses deep themes that leaves the reader to think about the topic is being talked about. In her poem, “Still I Rise” she talks metaphorically about discrimination. In the poem, it states, “does my haughtiness offend you? ( the poetry foundation, “Maya Angelou”). This quote from the poem shows how the rest of the poem is about people believe they is better than other people and that the other people should suffer because they are inferior to the people, but the people being abused should not be embarrassed of who they are and be thankful for life(“Maya Angelou More than a Poet 1”).