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“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

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.

HT: Elizabeth M

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    “The Ghazal of What Hurt” by Peter Cole

    Pain froze you, for years—and fear—leaving scars. 
    But now, as though miraculously, it seems, here you are 

    walking easily across the ground, and into town 
    as though you were floating on air, which in part you are, 

    or riding a wave of what feels like the world’s good will—
    though helped along by something foreign and older than you are 

    and yet much younger too, inside you, and so palpable 
    an X-ray, you’re sure, would show it, within the body you are,
     
    not all that far beneath the skin, and even in 
    some bones. Making you wonder: Are you what you are—

    with all that isn’t actually you having flowed 
    through and settled in you, and made you what you are? 

    The pain was never replaced, nor was it quite erased. 
    It’s memory now—so you know just how lucky you are. 

    You didn’t always. Were you then? And where’s the fear?
    Inside your words, like an engine? The car you are?! 

    Face it, friend, you most exist when you’re driven 
    away, or on—by forms and forces greater than you are. 

      “I Am” by John Clare 

     I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
    My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
    I am the self-consumer of my woes,
    They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
    Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
    And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

    Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
    Into the living sea of waking dreams,
    Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
    But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
    And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
    Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.

    I long for scenes where man has never trod;
    A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
    There to abide with my creator, God,
    And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
    Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
    The grass below–above the vaulted sky. 

     

  2. Anonymous

    And in the same sense we are all the saviours one of another, or may become so. A sudden emergency arises, and I stand faltering and weak with fear. My friend beside me is strong and fearless. He sees the emergency. He summons up all the latent powers within him, and springs forth to meet it. This sublime example arouses me, calls my latent powers into activity, when but for him I might not have known them there. I follow his example. I now know my powers, and know them forever after. Thus, in this, my friend has become my saviour.

    I am weak in some point of character, — vacillating, yielding, stumbling, falling, continually eating the bitter fruit of it all. My friend is strong, he has gained thorough self-mastery. The majesty and beauty of power are upon his brow. I see his example, I love his life, I am influenced by his power. My soul longs and cries out for the same. A supreme effort of will — that imperial master that will take one anywhere when rightly directed — arises within me, it is born at last, and it calls all the soul’s latent powers into activity: and instead of stumbling I stand firm, instead of giving over in weakness I stand firm and master, I enter into the joys of full self-mastery, and through this into the mastery of all things besides. And thus my friend has again become my saviour.

    With the new power I have acquired through the example and influence of my saviour-friend, I, in turn, stand before a friend who is struggling, who is stumbling and in despair. He sees, he feels, the power of my strength. He longs for, his soul cries out for the same. His interior forces are called into activity, he now knows his powers; and instead of the slave, he becomes the master, and thus I, in turn, have become his saviour. Oh, the wonderful sense of sublimity, the mighty feelings of responsibility, the deep sense of power and peace the recognition of this fact should bring to each and all. God works through the instrumentality of human agency. Then forever away with that old, shrivelling, weakening, dying, and devilish idea that we are poor worms of the dust! We may or we may not be: it all depends upon the self. The moment we believe we are we become such; and as long as we hold to the belief we will be held to this identity, and will act and live as such. The moment, however, we recognize our divinity, our higher, our God-selves, and the fact that we are the saviours of our fellow-men, we become saviours, and stand and move in the midst of a majesty and beauty and power that of itself proclaims us as such.

    There is a prevalent idea to the effect that overcoming in this sense necessarily implies more or less of a giving up, — that it means something possibly on the order of asceticism. On the contrary, the highest, truest, keenest pleasures the human soul can know, it finds only after the higher is entered upon and has commenced its work of mastery; and, instead of there being a giving up of any kind, there is a great law which says that the lower always and of its own accord falls away before the higher.

    (from: What All the World’s A-Seeking )

  3. Anonymous

         
    “Our sense of revenge is as exact as our mathematical faculty, and until both terms of the equations are satisfied we can not get over the sense of something left undone”

  4. Anonymous

    From: A rough draft by Maus Merryjest
    There is no true selfless action, as all interactions on a human psychological or physical level are actions of trade: Just as you use currency to pay for a product whose value you admire or require, you use the currency of your respect, appreciation, deference, and the highest (and noblest) of them, love (the recognition and deep appreciation of values and virtues in the other which you hold in the highest of esteems), in order to properly reward the virtues of the person you appreciate. And because their virtues or their presence or their intelligence or some other factor brings you pleasure, a healthy emotional transaction ensues when reciprocated. 
    Merry Christmas!

  5. Anonymous

    Wealthy Men
    The men who have pride and peace of mind
        And the respect of other men…
    The men who say in their twilight years
        That they’d do it all again…
    The men who love the flowers and trees
        And watching the animals play…
    These are wealthy men, for what they have
        Can never be taken away.             
    Wishing them happiness and best of luck!! 
        Happy New Year!       

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