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And Still I Rise In this inspiring poem Maya Angelou celebrates the courage of the human spirit over the harshest of obstacles An ode to the power that resides in us all to overcome the most difficult circumstances this poem is truly an inspiration and affirmation of the faith that restores and nourishes the soul Entwined with the vivid paintings of Diego Rivera the renowned Mexican artist Angelou's words paint a portrait of the amazing human spirit its uiet dignity and pools of strength and courage An ideal gift for a friend lover or family member this special edition will be treasured by all who receive it

  • Hardcover
  • 54 pages
  • And Still I Rise
  • Maya Angelou
  • English
  • 09 August 2014
  • 9780375505966

About the Author: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4 1928 in St Louis Missouri was an American poet memoirist actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 1969 which was



10 thoughts on “And Still I Rise

  1. Brina Brina says:

    Still I Rise is Maya Angelou’s encouragement to women of color everywhere that yes they can achieve great things These words reach for the heights and that is what every person should do regardless of gender race ethnicity or social standing It is easy for women of color to think that the world is not designed for people that look like them to dream big but that is exactly what Angelou’s signature poem does Entwined with the artwork of Diego Rivera all that is missing is improvisational jazz and the work would be complete A necessary reminder for women to hear during women’s history month 45 stars

  2. Bionic Jean Bionic Jean says:

    Maya Angelou is an inspirational figure admired the world over for her sensitivity passion and advocacy of black rights; she was a vigorous activist especially with regard to women The world lost a remarkable influential figure when she died So what is her poetry actually like? The word inspirational is bandied around today to include all sort of cant and twaddle I must admit to being apprehensive at the start Although by the time this collection had been published Maya Angelou had received over thirty honorary degrees from colleges and universities all over the world there is a lurking suspicion that this is for the person herself; her overcoming of almost unimaginable hardships plus her achievements in society and the legislative progress rather than strictly academic prowess After all her poetry is thought to be populist and has not received much serious critical attention Would Maya Angelou's poetry turn out to be over simplistic rhetoric or sanctimonious versifying? Thankfully the answer is no The poems match the figurehead She does speak to the people; she speaks to aspects of humanity we all have within us There is diversity; much variation of mood and style Sometimes the language used is direct and repetitive Her much lauded Phenomenal Woman Woman Work and the title poem for this collection And Still I Rise all conform to this type These are accessible to those who may not regularly read poetry Many women have felt a personal connection or significance saying that one such poem speaks to them that it is their own experience And Still I Rise has been called an anthem for the entire black race But some poems are significantly darker and embittered Some have variant forms jerky spasmodic rhythms elusive and sensual language Some are pain filled some outrageous Some are filled with despair These are not all feel good poems by any means And they are not always easy to read in any sense of the wordThe collection And Still I Rise is Maya Angelou's third volume of poetry and was first published in 1978 Angelou was well into her stride as a writer by now As well as the two former volumes of poetry she had also written three of her autobiographies; she tended to alternate between the two This collections is made up of 32 short poems and is divided into three parts 1 Touch Me Life Not Softly2 Travelling3 And Still I RiseIn the very first poem we are confronted with cruelty and abuse Hate often is confused ItsLimits are in zones beyond itself The dark theme is mirrored by a spiky disjointed structure The next two poems describe the experience of black youth giddy earthy and sensual The next begins with feeling of isolation loneliness in the crowds I searched the facesHoping to findSomeone to care but ends with connection I've never been so strong Now I'm where I belongIt is noticeable that Angelou's rhymes are often in rhythmic couplets and come either as a refrain or at the end of a poem where she wants to add extra emphasis The following poem Phenomenal Woman is an example of an even spare exaggeration where the author plays with the word phenomenal and the whole poem has a bouncy upbeat and playful rhythm It is a poem of self assertion and humour I have reviewed this poem separately link here in a different editionBut the optimism does not last long With the next poem Men the reader is back to youth entrapment fear and oppression The hurt beginsWrench out a Smile that slides aroundthe fear And we are also back to the dislocation of wordsThe final two poems in this section speak of early love memory and regretThe readers may wonder whether perhaps the middle section will become optimistic but no It starts with Junkie Monkey Reel a dark description of a drug addict; with raw painful images The Lesson continues the theme about the selfishness and ultimate self destruction of drug addiction Rotting flesh and worms doNot convince me againstThe challenge The yearsAnd cold defeat live deep inLines along my faceThey dull my eyes yetI keep on dyingBecause I love to live The next poem California Prodigal is perhaps the most difficult in the collection A description of the California landscape using metaphor and personification of the rugged natural formations a description of an old adobe house up in the mountains; a uiet peaceful place to conjure up a sense of loss and abandonment Flush on inner cottage walls Antiuitous facesUsed to the gelid breathOf old manors glare disdainfully Over breached timeAround and through these Cold phantasmatalities He walksBut the poem ends on an optimistic note describing the sunlit poppy fields Each day isFulminant exploding brightlyMy Arkansas is also a dark poem referring back to Angelou's childhood and the racism prevalent at that time The poem is full of symbolism such as the moss which represents the old crimes of Arkansas spoiling the poplar trees on which it grows Many aspects of nature are used here as symbols for events For instance red universally symbolises danger whereas a sunrise is usually an indication of hope Yet with dusk no shadowsthan the noon The past is brighter yet the reader wonders how strong the hope really is Will the new dawn for Arkansas ever come? The memories remain festering It writhes It writhes in awfulWaves of broodingThe next poem provides glimpses vivid shapshots of a city always with a dark feel Lady Luncheon Club is simpler; direct and ironic It recalls every impassioned after dinner speech the reader may have encountered and the trivialities of the chattering classes who may be in attendance He sighs for youthful deathAnd rape at ten and murder ofThe soul stretched over longOur woman notesThis coffee’s much too strongThe poem has humour but it is a grim twisted humourThe next Momma Welfare Roll is also bitter Angelou often writes about women who have few life choices left In this one a mother is forced to accept government assistance to go on welfare She is described as courageous and defiant Her jowls shiver in accusationOf crimes cliched by Repetition Too fat to whoreToo mad to workThey don't give me welfareI take itThe Singer Will Not Sing is probably meant for Angelou's friend the singer Abbey Lincoln since it was written at a time when the singer was not producing much and this is what is described Sounds do not lift beyondthose reddened wallsWillie is a hauntingly beautiful and sad poem about a lonely tramp Solitude was the climate in his headEmptiness was the partner in his bedPain echoed in the steps of his treadI may cry and I will dieBut my spirit is the soul of every springI'm the rustle in the autumn leavesIt is clearly an allegory and a very positive uplifting one Willie is crippled yet after he dies he will live on in many different ways This is my personal favourite To Beat The Child Was Bad Enough is an emotional description of a new birth as it must feel to the child Hunger new hands strange voicesIts cry came natural tearingWoman Work lists the mundane chores of a woman who stays at home to mother her children It has a strong rhyme scheme an almost singing tone in its forceful rhythms and chants The theme of women's vitality here is similar to that of Phenomenal Woman and its positivity will appeal to readers to whom this lifestyle feels familiar The end indicates the world outside a world of peace and contentment and an other aspect of the world that the working woman of the poem craves and feels she deserves Fall gently snowflakesCover me with whiteCold icy kisses andLet me rest tonightSun rain curving skyMountain oceans leaf and stoneStar shine moon glowYou're all that I can call my ownIt is followed by the very popular poem one which begs to be said aloud One More RoundThere ain't no pay beneath the sunAs sweet as rest when a job's well doneThe strong metre and rhythm echo the plantation songs the work and protest songs from earlier eras and the theme is against oppression and past slavery And now I'll tell you my Golden RuleI was born to work but I ain't no muleI was born to work up to my graveBut I was not bornTo be a slaveThe final three poems in the middle section deal with the racial injustices of the past the poverty of Maya Angelou's Arkansas childhood the drudgery of life working in the cotton rows and the sugar cane And all my days are dyingThe third section start with the masterpiece Still I Rise and straightaway there are the vociferous accusations from an oppressed race the injustice of misrepresentation which is in the very written record You may write me down in history With your bitter twisted lies You may tread me in the very dirt But still like dust I'll riseIt is a proud and defiant statement You may shoot me with your words You may cut me with your eyes You may kill me with your hatefulness But still like air I'll riseThere is a hopeful determination to rise above difficulty and discouragement a determination to be strong and resiliant referring back again to the earlier times of slavery Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I riseEnding with a timeless and triumphant dream a determined declaration Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave I rise I rise I rise The next Ain't That Bad? is a rare jocular poem to encourage Black Pride using bad in the street vernacular to convey positive connections with Black culture and s Dressing in purples and pinks and greensExotic as rum and cokesconjures up an image of street cred the strength and pride in being Black and observing the customs and community An' ain't we BlackAn' ain't we fine?Life doesn't frighten me at all continues the positive upbeat and defiant feeling as does Bump d'Bump On Aging continues the provocation with skill and sensitivity with instantly recognisable thoughts for those to whom it applies Don't think I need your chatteringI'm listening to myselfPlus there is an acceptance of fate and time a resolution and a uirky sense of humour But aint' I lucky I can still breathe inThere is a brief return to the themes of nature and love the progress of life and two poems which are a commitment to Maya Angelou's faith in her Christian God with a refrain Let me humbly sayThank You for this dayI want to thank You This collection of poems is a very personal collection Maya Angelou's experience of life could hardly be much different from my own So how do they make me feel as a white person? Do I feel guilty for the crimes of my ancestors? No I feel outraged angry and deeply saddened But it is Maya Angelou's skill as a poet which makes me feel I have far in common with her as a fellow human from a totally different culture with totally different experiences than I have with anyone involved with the centuries of oppression and mistreatment of black people in the pastMaya Angelou speaks out and gives a voice to all black people all people especially women who have ever been oppressed and all her ancestors With her indomitable spirit she speaks out for the poor the disenfranchised the deprived and the handicapped She addresses both the basic human spirit and social issues The poems cover a wide range of topics including themes here of painful loss sexual awakening sensuality self acceptance aging the home the importance of family love loneliness drug addiction Christian salvation Springtime social injustice continuing discrimination Southern racism the struggles of slavery segregation sexism the nature of women rape and abuse and perhaps most passionately the strength of women's voices Maya Angelou is concerned with survival the right to a personal identity She is darkly defiant black angry and bitter wryly comical wise and hopeful self assured and ultimately encouraging and resilient She thinks life can be beautiful and full of joy but that we all have a long way to go yet The poems are a triumph I'm a black ocean leaping and wide Welling and swelling I bear in the tide Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave I rise I rise I rise Here is a list of all the poem in And Still I Rise 1 Touch Me Life Not SoftlyA Kind of Love Some SayCountry LoverRemembranceWhere We Belong a DuetPhenomenal WomanMenRefusalJust For a Time2 TravellingJunkie Monkey ReelThe LessonCalifornia ProdigalMy ArkansasThrought the Inner City to the SuburbsLady Lucheon ClubMomma Welfare RollThe Singer Will not SingWillieTo Beat the Child was Bad EnoughWoman WorkOne More RoundThe TravellerKinThe Memory3 And Still I RiseStill I RiseAin't That Bad?Life Doesn't Frighten MeBump d'BumpOn AgingIn RetrospectJust Like JobCall Letters Mrs VBThank You Lord

  3. Jean Menzies Jean Menzies says:

    I assumed I would enjoy this one and I assumed correctlyThis is my first foray into Angelou's poetry other than listening to random snippets but I have read the first of her autobiographies 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' I adored the rythm of her poems they slipped so naturally from the tongue and her choice of words was fascinating it really had me chewing on each on certain words and phrases rolling them around in my head There were lots of themes of love lust sex the body racism and slavery One of my favourite poems was 'Caged Bird' but I particularly enjoyed the first part of the collection which is divided into four parts in total I didn't connect to the couple of poems with religious overtones unsurprisingly or the poem 'Health Food Diner' which was essentially an ode to meat and I'm a vegetarian But overall spectacular stuff

  4. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Maya Angelou transmits something tender and profound in her writings especially when listened to in her recorded voice

  5. Leah Craig Leah Craig says:

    Wishing so badly I was in DC today to hear these poems read at the Women's March Does my haughtiness offend you?Don't you take it awful hard'Cause I laugh like I've got gold minesDiggin' in my own backyardYou may shoot me with your wordsYou may cut me with your eyesYou may kill me with your hatefulnessBut still like air I'll rise

  6. Kelly Kelly says:

    And Still I RiseYou may write me down in historyWith your bitter twisted liesYou may tread me in the very dirtBut still like dust I'll riseDoes my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wellsPumping in my living roomJust like moons and like sunsWith the certainty of tidesJust like hopes springing highStill I'll riseDid you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardropsWeakened by my soulful criesDoes my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard'Cause I laugh like I've got gold minesDiggin' in my own back yardYou may shoot me with your wordsYou may cut me with your eyesYou may kill me with your hatefulnessBut still like air I'll riseDoes my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surpriseThat I dance like I've got diamondsAt the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shameI riseUp from a past that's rooted in painI riseI'm a black ocean leaping and wideWelling and swelling I bear in the tideLeaving behind nights of terror and fearI riseInto a daybreak that's wondrously clearI riseBringing the gifts that my ancestors gaveI am the dream and the hope of the slaveI riseI riseI rise

  7. B. P. Rinehart B. P. Rinehart says:

    Hate often is confused ItsLimits are in zones beyond itself AndSadists will not learn thatLove by nature exacts a painUneualled on the rack Second stanza of A Kind of Love Some SayOne of my favorite poets and one of her best collections Reading Maya Angelou is great but listening to her is better I am always put into a better state of mind with her words Dr Angelou was one one of the great multi talented writers of the 20th century as a playwright poet actress and memiorist Though her most celebrated work is her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings she considered herself a poet first She wrote over 11 volumes of poetry but this may be her most famous volume It contains some of her most uoted poems including the title poem and has been a consistently anthologized book On AgingWhen you see me sitting uietlyLike a sack left on the shelfDon’t think I need your chatteringI’m listening to myselfHold Stop Don’t pity meHold Stop your sympathyUnderstanding if you got itOtherwise I’ll do without itWhen my bones are stiff and achingAnd my feet won’t climb the stairI will only ask one favorDon’t bring me no rocking chairWhen you see me walking stumblingDon’t study and get it wrong‘Cause tired don’t mean lazyAnd every goodbye ain’t goneI’m the same person I was back thenA little less hair a little less chinA lot less lungs and much less windBut ain’t I lucky I can still breathe inThis audiobook is a bit of a mystery to me as it was recorded some time between the 1990s and the 2000s and only contains 13 of the 32 poems found in the actual printed book leaving out for instances a poem like Phenomenal Woman Still the poems included in are great and we get to hear Dr Angelou's great ability as a storyteller and reciter on full display One bonus we do have is commentary in which she tells the story behind some of the poems and what she was aiming for or how she felt she missed the mark in one place so she included another poem to make up for itAin't That BadDancin' the funky chickenEatin' ribs and tipsDiggin' all the latest soundsAnd drinkin' gin in sipsPuttin' down that do ragTighten' up my 'froWrappin' up in BlacknessDon't I shine and glow?Hearin' Stevie WonderCookin' beans and riceGoin' to the operaCheckin' out Leontyne PriceGet down Jesse JacksonDance on Alvin AileyTalk Miss Barbara JordanGroove Miss Pearlie BaileyNow ain't they bad?An ain't they Black?An ain't they Black?An' ain't they Bad?An ain't they bad?An' ain't they Black?An' ain't they fine?Black like the hour of the nightWhen your love turns and wriggles close to your sideBlack as the earth which has given birthTo nations and when all else is gone will abideBad as the storm that leaps raging from the heavensBringing the welcome rainBad as the sun burning orange hot at middayLifting the waters againArthur Ashe on the tennis courtMohammed Ali in the ringAndre Watts and Andrew YoungBlack men doing their thingDressing in purples and pinks and greensExotic as rum and CokesLiving our lives with flash and styleAin't we colorful folks?Now ain't we bad?An' ain't we Black?An' ain't we Black?An' ain't we bad?An' ain't we bad?An' ain't we Black?An' ain't we fine?One of the reasons I was glad to have the audiobook was to have the poet's insight on the rhyme and rhythm of the poem I think you can use meter to an extant when reading this book but you gain a lot of priceless context in hearing how the poet imagines her piece to what the piece's meaning is This book explores a lot of the inner life of people their dignity in the face of hard times or good times It is a volume of poetry that seems to come from an ancient place of the psyche but a modern or everlasting message at least to me You may write me down in historyWith your bitter twisted liesYou may tread me in the very dirtBut still like dust I'll riseDoes my sassiness upset you?Why are you beset with gloom?'Cause I walk like I've got oil wellsPumping in my living roomJust like moons and like sunsWith the certainty of tidesJust like hopes springing highStill I'll riseDid you want to see me broken?Bowed head and lowered eyes?Shoulders falling down like teardropsWeakened by my soulful criesDoes my haughtiness offend you?Don't you take it awful hard'Cause I laugh like I've got gold minesDiggin' in my own back yardYou may shoot me with your wordsYou may cut me with your eyesYou may kill me with your hatefulnessBut still like air I'll riseDoes my sexiness upset you?Does it come as a surpriseThat I dance like I've got diamondsAt the meeting of my thighs?Out of the huts of history's shameI riseUp from a past that's rooted in painI riseI'm a black ocean leaping and wideWelling and swelling I bear in the tideLeaving behind nights of terror and fearI riseInto a daybreak that's wondrously clearI riseBringing the gifts that my ancestors gaveI am the dream and the hope of the slaveI riseI riseI rise

  8. Veronique Veronique says:

    Apart from her powerful poem 'Still I Rise’ which I love I didn’t know much of Maya Angelou’s writing This little anthology was therefore a timely discovery While reading aloud several adjectives came to my mind raw sensual melancholic vital lonely fierce irreverent etc There was also a musicality to some of the poems making me think they could easily be used as lyrics The format too goes from the very short not unlike haikus to longer form with a complex thread A lot of them had this warmth as if I could feel the sun beating on me while others were shrouded in shadows Some made me smile but many left me lost in my thoughtsAs you would expect Angelou focuses on black lives but also women’s lives and old ageexperience which surprised me Her voice really came through her writing so powerful and evocative Many of these poems 'talked’ to me as a woman and as a person who has always been a foreigner wherever I’ve lived I’ll finish with an extract from one of her poems that really fits her I’m a womanPhenomenallyPhenomenal womanThat’s me”

  9. David J David J says:

    Here I am at 27 and finally getting around to Maya Angelou I never had to read her work for school and somehow passed up reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings the many times I’ve seen it on my library’s shelves Better late than never right? And Still I Rise is Angelou’s third poetry collection originally released in 1978 And for how much praise Angelou receives I was surprised that I wasn’t bowled over by this collection Yes I definitely liked it but there was also something missing And I can’t uite put my finger on itThere were many poems I did really enjoy “Men” “Refusal” “The Lesson” The Singer Will Not Sing “Still I Rise” and “In Retrospect” There was a steady undercurrent of history truth and encouragement to these poems as well as a critical yet uplifting look at womanhood and African American life But for all of these wonderful poems there was an eual amount that just didn’t do much for me Perhaps I went in with too high of expectations which is admittedly dumb since I hadn’t read any of Angelou’s work before thisThese works are simple but simple can be powerful Some of these poems just didn't uite hit the mark for me though I’m still keen on reading Angelou don’t get me wrong But I’m hoping her other work strikes me better than this collection

  10. Anima Anima says:

    PART ONETouch Me Life Not SoftlyRemembrancefor Paul‘Your hands easyweight teasing the beeshived in my hair your smile at theslope of my cheek On theoccasion you pressabove me glowing spoutingreadiness mystery rapesmy reasonWhen you have withdrawnyour self and the magic whenonly the smell of yourlove lingers betweenmy breasts then onlythen can I greedily consumeyour presence‘Where We Belong A Duet‘In every town and villageIn every city suareIn crowded placesI searched the facesHoping to findSomeone to care’The Singer Will Not Singfor AL‘A benison given UnusedNo angels promisedwings fluttering banal liesbehind their sexlessness Notrumpets gloriedprophecies of fabled fameYet harmonies waited in her stiff throat New noteslay expectant on herstilled tongueHer lips are ridged and fleshy Purpled night birdssnuggled to restThe mouth seamed voicelessSounds do not lift beyondthose reddened wallsShe came too late and lonelyto this place‘

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