Still I Rise by Maya Angelou ( line by line Explanation ) and Poem summary 2021

Still i rise

The Poem, Still I Rise, totally speaks about self-empowerment, self-esteem, perseverance, injustice, hope, and resilience. The poem lines here explain how women are oppressed in some situations when they come up and how they are holding those things in a high manner. This poem was published in 1978 but somewhat it relates to present conditions also, we’ll know about these when moving forward with the lines.

Maya Angelou is an Afro-American poet, who has more than 50 honorary degrees and published 7 autobiographies and 3 books.

Overview of the Poem. 

The poet expresses her own experiences in the poem lines, when she comes up in life, how she was oppressed, how people are thinking about certain sections of people, and the hope of firmed women who want to achieve big things in life than fearing about society.

Still I Rise – Maya Angelou(Line by line explanation)

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.
Here, You refer to white people who are oppressing black women. 
The poet says oppressors may write bad and sad things and things that may not happen (twisted) in their notebooks about her. But whatever it is, she says, I’ll rise like dust even You tread in me in the dust.
We may relate this to our life as well, whatever opposition we have in our life, we should come like dust when we are treading even in the dust. 
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.
In these lines, the poet, asks questions to the oppressors that, does my braveness upset you? Why you are harassing continuously
Here, she itself came up with answers because she walks like having oil wells pumping in the living. People are getting jealous because she is getting a higher form of life daily.
Even in our life, we also have faced this situation when we are doing something than others who are not even aware of these things
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still, I’ll rise.
Here, the poet expresses her hope like the sun & moon which rise daily whatever the situation is. Like her hope is getting high and so that she is rising.
This is a great example of motivation with teehee the present condition, whatever the situation, we should rise like the sun and moon.  
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
In these lines, again poet is asking questions to the oppressors that, do you want to see me broken, head held down, eyes with tears, weakened souls? These questions were raised because the feelings she faced is somewhat different because she is a black woman. We don’t know what they have faced in their life.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my yard.
In these poem lines, she again asks questions about her haughtiness offend them? Because she laughs like she has gold mines digging in the backyard.
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.
In these lines, the poet tells, oppressors may shoot her with words( which is harmful than a knife), they may cut me with their oppressed view, they may kill me with their hate, but again, I’ll rise like air.
We should not worry about others who are splitting upon us, who are waving upon us, we should move forward in our life without taking care of unnecessary spaces in our hearts. 
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?
In these lines, she again asks questions to the oppressors that, whether my sexiness upsets you? Because I’m dancing like I’ve diamonds with me.

Also Read – Journey to the Interior Poem.

We can relate this in another way. Oppressors are American people but she is an African woman. Africa has at lot of mining than any other country. So they may get upset because of this.
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.
In these lines, she expressed that, she has been raised even in lots of history’s shame & even in pain. Here, she relates herself with the tide which rises again and again whatever the welling and swelling, the ocean makes.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a wondrously clear daybreak
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.
These are lines in which I believe that hope of people is everlasting in their life. You can see ‘I Rise’ three times, which shows her hope in rising than oppression and being oppressed.
Thanks for reading, comment your opinions.
Arun Kumar S
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