Still I Rise Essay

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In Maya Angelou’s life she has defied incredible odds. Her perseverance through tough times seeps through in all of her poetry. Maya was raped when she was 8, similarly to the book Speak we read sophomore year the tragedy makes her totally withdraw from society. Finally one of her grade school teachers encouraged Maya to come out of her shell. In her young adult years she moved to San Francisco and had a variety of jobs, many of which broke the color barrier. As we delve into her work “ Still I Rise” it is important to recognize many of these obstacles she faced. In this poem “ Still I Rise” Maya Angelou paints beautiful images in our heads that we can access easily. The reason many people have a tough time with poetry is because of the need to read over the poem multiple times just to get the basic meaning of the poem. In the poem the theme is clear, however there is still deep meaning and a powerful message sent. In the line “ You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” Angelou uses a simple but brilliant symbol to compare herself to the ground. Although someone can try to drag her along the ground like she is nothing, she will still rise. When I heard this is thought of an old dusty baseball field when the dirt keeps rising and getting into your eyes and no matter how many times you stomp the dirt down to stop, it only makes it worse. This is a great metaphor because not only will the trod not keep her down, but it will empower her to move on with greater strength then she did before. Just like she emphasized her inablility to be stopped in the previous lines, in a different stanza she does it again in the line “ Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still ill rise.” Again the imagery here is very easy to picture, yet it sends a powerful message. “ With the certainty of tides” is an

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