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31 July 2014 @ 09:25 am
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou  
Oh, Maya Angelou, how I miss knowing you're in the world with me. At least your words are.

Still I Rise - Maya Angelou

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 rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

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 rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
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.
 
 
I'm feeling: morning
 
 
 
drwexdrwex on July 31st, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
I still get misty-eyed reading that. I do not remember how old I was when I first heard her read this poem - I think it was on a PBS broadcast of some kind. Thank you for posting this.
whynotkaywhynotkay on August 1st, 2014 02:22 am (UTC)
I don't have a conscious memory of having heard her read that, but I read it in her voice so it must have happened some time...

Love that poem.
drwexdrwex on August 1st, 2014 02:34 am (UTC)
I love living in the future. You can find several recordings of her reading it on YouTube and such (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs1Cjoq6U_Q which is from just a few years ago). Hope that helps - I find it helps me a lot to hear a poem in the poet's voice.
The Onion Girl: fishswirltshuma on August 2nd, 2014 05:27 am (UTC)
I do not generally feel deeply the deaths of celebrities. They are like a stone dropped into the pond of my consciousness: a ripple and then it subsides. But, when Maya Angelou passed, I cried hot, bitter tears. The power of that hurt feels like an echo of that blow, when I remember all over again that she's gone.

Thank you for sharing it. It feels good to remember her and read her work again.