Still I Rise - Analysis

639 Words Aug 18th, 2014 3 Pages
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou is a very moving ballad poem, and has a positive and strong tone throughout it. The main theme of this poem is discrimination. It portrays a strong woman living with confidence and a positive attitude. The reason why I chose to write my essay on Still I Rise is because it has a very powerful message. Although this poem was written in 1978, I feel as if anyone can relate to it even in this time period. Everybody experiences discrimination at some point in their lives, and this poem teaches readers to have pride and hope in their selves in order to overcome any obstacle that comes their way. There are quite a few poetic devices in the poem I will be focusing on such as similes, metaphors, repetition and …show more content…
She feels free and open like the ocean, able to overcome any difficulty. The metaphor can also be described as cruelty or evil, and how things can occur unexpectedly. This could be how her life is full of horrific and unexpected events. The "black ocean" may also be referring to her race and it can inform readers that this poem is about racism. The metaphors used in the poem allow the audience to understand the bigger picture of the poem by exaggerating. The two last poetic devices mainly used in Still I Rise are imagery and repetition. In the fourth stanza, the lines, "Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries." appeals to the readers' awareness. Those lines describe a silhouette of defeat, with a slumped posture and distressed eyes, which indicates failure and disappointment. Furthermore, the "soulful cries" deepens the image by adding a sense of audio layer, now the reader not only sees what defeat must feel like, but hears it too. The repetition used in the poem was "I'll rise; I rise". By repeating these words, it emphasizes Angelou's message of staying strong and never allowing anything or anyone to stop you from fighting and living confidently. This also helps the message stand out, which makes it much more powerful and significant. All of these literary devices together contribute furthermore into the depths of the poem by demonstrating the amount of the speaker's power to
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