Maya Angelou's Still I Rise Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

This seminar paper will look at a poem written by Maya Angelou, Still I rise, 1978. An analysis of this poem will be provided, exploring the meaning of the poem and the language used to present a certain image to the audience.
“Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture”(, 2014).
This poem is Maya Angelou speaking to the audience as she explains the problems she has overcome such as; racism, sexism, bullying and other problems in her life that she has managed to move on from.This poem is set in a first person narrative, Angelou explains to the audience about the good and bad times within her life, presented in a graceful way. By the poem being set in first person narrative, this allows the audience to connect to the poet on a deeper level because the tone of the poem is more intense throughout, making it more real for the audience. This genre of poetry is lyric poetry, relating to Angelou’s feelings and thoughts throughout the poem, addressing the audience directly.
This poem is structured within eight stanzas, the first seven stanzas contain four lines within each stanza, however,the last stanza contains fifteen lines, with major emphasis on, “I rise”. The last fifteen lines may have been used to conclude the poem at the end, for one last time show the audience her head held up high. During the poem, the tone throughout is positive and negative, although you may hear the strength and passion in her voice about overcoming these problems, she still presents anger. This allows the reader to experience in sections how Angelou really felt.
The setting is created throughout the poem, “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,”(stanza 6) this allows the reader to imagine a setting of hate and negativity, but also “I’ll rise,” allows the reader to distinguish that this relates to the black population still moving forward,after all the racism and discrimination. Whereas, “you,” is related to the white population, this shows the division of both races. This is a setting of one of Angelou’s problems, overcoming racism, and still rising.
“Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave,” (stanza 8) this line relates to slavery, the pain she and her family went through during these times of cruelty. This also allows us to picture the author, Angelou, as a strong African woman, who has overcome many obstacles in her life. “Still I rise,” the name of the poem is repeated throughout the poem to intensify her strength and pride of overcoming her past experiences, and also that she continues to overcome other situations. This allows the poem to be viewed in a positive way by the audience as Angelou overcomes these situations and being able to connect with the reader as she portrays...

Find Another Essay On Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

Racism in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

2035 words - 8 pages Racism in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou, the current poet laureate of the United States, has become for many people an exemplary role model. She read an original poem at the inauguration of President Clinton; she has also appeared on the television show "Touched by an Angel," and there read another poem of her own composition; she lectures widely, inspiring young people to aim high in life. Yet this is an

Analysis of Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings".

1049 words - 4 pages Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings chronicles the early years of the author's life - up to age seventeen. In the book, Angelou poetically describes the phenomenon that is growing up black, in the south, in the time before and during World War II. I believe that you are expected to interpret this as a memoir of overcoming the odds. I believe that you are expected to regard the happenings of this book with feelings of empathy and/or

Analysis on Chapters 14 and 15 of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou's

804 words - 3 pages Maya Angelou's I Know Why Caged Bird Sings illustrates how an innocent and naive girl growing up in the midst of the Great Depression overcomes life's many obstacles and becomes the powerful and influential woman she is today. Maya is a world renowned author, teacher, speaker, actress, and mother. Through this autobiographical piece, Maya's use of figurative language and allusion compounds her thoughts, as she depicts how one can supersede the

Comparative Essay For Still I Rise and Africa

644 words - 3 pages The poem 'Africa' and 'Still I Rise' were both composed by poet Maya Angelou. The poem Africa is generally about the history and culture of Africa, and describes in detail the hardships faced by the African people during the times of the enslavement. In the other poem 'Still I Rise' Angelou tries to convey her feelings about the discrimination against the African-American people. Both of the poems have many differences but they also have some

Comparison of Still I Rise and Realities of a Black Woman

2404 words - 10 pages suggest to me that the narrator does not want to be ignored anymore and that she is speaking out for her race. The tone of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise", is in the way she describes African-American lives in witty, intelligent language thick with rhythm and texture. Thee mood of the poems is very mixed in emotions, anger and fear, sadness, depression but also a strong positive mood. In stanza six Maya writes "You may shoot me with

The Differences and Similarities Between Caged Bird and Still I Rise

1217 words - 5 pages with a capture of something and a rise above something, but ‘Still I Rise’ would also be a rise above a capture or an attempt at a capture Maya Angelou, the author, was raised in segregated, rural Arkansas, and so this could be the reason for the content of her poems. I think that she has intentionally expressed these themes strongly in both of these poems because she felt strongly at the time of the segregation of the black communities

Consider how "Still I Rise" and "Warning" Explore Ideas of Freedom or the Lack of it.

848 words - 3 pages "Still I Rise" is set during the apartheid, which was a period in history when the black people from America were segregated from the white people. This led to the lack of freedom, which is shown through the poem. "Warning" is about a young woman thinking about how her life will be in the future, and how she will have no freedom and follow the original stereotypes for old people.The title shows a great deal about the lack of freedom that the

Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou

1422 words - 6 pages worksand poems such as I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in my Name, Still I Rise and Phenomenal Women. All of these books depict the true-life stories of Ms. Maya Angelou's tragedies, and there dreadful conditions she had encountered in her youth. But in all of Angelou's novels and poems, she escapes the night to go into the light, leaving all the hurt and shame to prosper in a new life she has created.        Maya

Maya Angelou's Life

1161 words - 5 pages I Rise." Her poem "On The Pulse Of The Morning" is probably her most known. She recited it at Bill Clinton's inauguration and it was broadcast all over the world. Maya Angelou's literary time period is the Postmodernist Period. This period started in 1965 and is still going on today. In both her poems and her novels reoccuring subject matters are racism, family, and identity. Growing up in Stamps, Arkansas during the 1930's there was a lot

Finding A Voice Through Maya Angelou

1807 words - 8 pages ,” “Still I Rise,” and “Phenomenal Woman.” Marguerite (Maya) Ann Angelou was born in St. Louis on April 4, 1928. Maya definitely did not have an easy start to her complicated and successful life. According to L. Patricia Kite, Maya was only three years old when her parents, Bailey Sr. and Vivian Johnson, got divorced (Maya Angelou 6). This source also states that years later, at eight years old, Maya was left alone with her mother’s boyfriend, Mr

Maya Angelou's Use of Symbolism, Dialogue, and Conflict in her writings

841 words - 3 pages after she started work as the feature editor of the African Review, where she stayed until 1966, when she returned to the United States.Some of Maya Angelou works that make her the prestigious writer that she is today are:Just Give Me A Cool Drink of Water 'for I Diiie (1976)And Still I Rise (1976)Shake, Why Don't You Sing (1983)Life Dosen't Frighten Me (1993)In Angelou's writings she embraces the political issues concerning African Americans and

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"

1885 words - 8 pages The poem I have chosen to write a detailed description and interpretation of is Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise'. In analysing the chosen poem I will be considering the ways in which my own knowledge, experience and cultural identity might have an influence in the way I have read and interpreted the poem.This poem is very strong and powerful, as a reader I can sense this in the title of the poem, 'still I rise'. If the reader does not know the

Perspectives On Hope: Eudora Welty's A Worn Path, And Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

2026 words - 8 pages obstacle and distraction in her path, she perseveres in order to complete her objective. Similarly, Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” tells the story of strength and resilience during adversity. The poem is a celebration of the endurance and hope of the African-American race. While both of these narratives highlight the unfortunate American history of racism, the stories also relate the importance of hope and the impact it can have on one’s life. During

Comparing Life Doesn't Frighten Me And Still I Rise By Maya Angelou

1038 words - 4 pages Comparing Life Doesn't Frighten Me and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou This essay will compare and contrast 'life doesn't frighten' me by Maya Angelou and 'still I rise' by Maya Angelo the theme of fear and pride will be explored in this essay. The theme of fear and pride is discussed in this essay because in one of the poems she is scared of little things that scare and they is nothing to be scared of like the dark, but

Focuses On The Literary Elements Of Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". Entitled: "The Melody Of Maya".

1219 words - 5 pages Just as a sweetly sung melody dances through the wind, Maya Angelou's style flows fluently throughout her writing in her autobiographical piece, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. As the silent listener lets the tune seep into his ears, he begins to notice each individual note. The consistent style of personification and lively imagery exemplifies and enhances the intention of Angelou. The whimsical array of harmony and notes strike a chord inside