Monday, November 19, 2007

Still I Rise--Dr. Maya Angelou

This goes down as one of my favourite poems of all time, written by none other than the great Dr. Maya Angelou. As you may know, Ben Harper also did a rendition of her poem in his song, "I'll Rise," off the Welcome to the Cruel World album. Learn more about Dr. Angelou here...

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod 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.


Liara Covert said...

Great choice! This inspirational poem reminds us all that no matter what our conditions or life experience, we have the power and ability to rise above it and be the best we can be.

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

I agree, Liara. It really is a testament to how we DO have the power to transcend seemingly impossible demons.

black_mamba said...

OOOOOHH. I love Maya Angelou. I've read some of her poems but not this one though. thanks for sharing :)

Divinyl said...

I love her poem Phenomenal Woman...have you heard that set to music by Ruthie Foster? x

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Hey Divinyl, no I havent heard that version yet but i should definitely check out!

Divinyl said...

I've just's on her MySpace page :o)

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Ruthie's all soul--what a beautiful song! You're seriously going to become my go-to-girl since you've got your finger on the pulse...LOL!

Divinyl said...

Ha! Glad you like. I went to see her in's my blog about it:

She's got a great voice hasn't she?

ZenDenizen said...

Serious question - what do Canadians call blacks? African Canadians?

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Hey Zen, yes, I think African Canadian is the general PC term but I think it can come down to one's home country (if it isn't Canada)--ie. Congolese, Trini, Jamaican-Canadian, etc...

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