Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou



'like dust, I'll rise'This is the first simile. If dust rises up from the dirt, it is usually unwanted, but persistent. This suggests she refuses to be downtrodden regardless of what the oppressors say and think.

'cerainty of tides'These similes compare the narrators ability to rise above difficulties to the certainty and apparent movement fo the moon, sun and tides. Strong and unstoppable.

'You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still like air, I'll rise'Narrator uses aggressive verbs to suggest violent and foul language. Uses similes to compare herself to air which cannot be cut, killed, or shot.

'I dance like I've got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs,'In this stanza, the narrator expresses pride and worth in her own body. This relates to the memories of slavery where human bodies were traded as commodities. The simile comparing her to diamonds suggests a pride in her ability to produce offspring who are like diamonds, not worthless slaves. Shows pride in herself.

'Into a daybreak that's wondorously clear I rise'New beggining, here the metaphor of the sun is extended into sunrise.

'I rise'- suggests a chant/mantra such as in protest or to self motivate. The repition of 'I rise' emphasises accomplishment and self confidence.

1 of 3


'write me down in history'- history may refer to the narrator's personal story and to the history of black people in America. She refers to a smearing of her reputation, and the way the history of balck Americans has been misrecorded by history books/writers.

'I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.'Suggests that the narrator is proud and acts rich showing that she is resilient against her oppressor's efforts to keep her in poverty. simile.

'hope of the slave'- become everything her ancestors wanted her to be.

2 of 3


  • The poem consists of 7 quatrains (stanzas of 4 lines), followed by 2 end stanzas which contain a chant like repetition of 'I rise'
  • In the end stanzas there is a clear rhyme scheme change, indicating a defiant change and clear end of the poem
  •  Rythm: Clear rythm and beat, adding to the sense of confidence.
3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language resources:

See all English Language resources »See all Anthology resources »