Famous Inspirational Poem

Maya Angelou is one of the most celebrated American Poets of our time. Born in 1928, her life has spanned much of the African American struggle for racial equality. She was a confidant of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In this poem about African American Courage, Angelou embodies the power, courage and tenacity of the African American experience.

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The courage is evident. Our world needs social justice to reign above everything else. No one has the right to say he or she is better than anyone else. We are all on this earth with an...

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Still I Rise

Maya Angelou By more Maya Angelou

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.

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.



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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Lilli Janzen by Lilli Janzen
  • 6 months ago

The courage is evident. Our world needs social justice to reign above everything else. No one has the right to say he or she is better than anyone else. We are all on this earth with an opportunity to make a difference. Yet there are those weeping and asking for our understanding and the chance that they have been hoping for all their lives, to feel blessed because others care.

  • Sage Jade by Sage Jade
  • 8 months ago

Still I rise. Such sass and strong, inspiring words. Maya Angelou is my hero.

  • Vishali by Vishali
  • 8 months ago

It gives me inspiration! As a woman, we have to suffer from all these difficulties, but if we have courage to do something bold, no one can stop us.

  • Xavia Angel Christiana Creasman by Xavia Angel Christiana Creasman
  • 11 months ago

When I was still an unborn child my mom was an alcoholic. Then when I started school I was bullied until I fought back.

  • Frank Spellman by Frank Spellman
  • 1 year ago

My mother was killed in the city of Newark, NJ, in 1967. With my broken heart, still I rise.

  • Shilpee Prasad by Shilpee Prasad
  • 1 year ago

I love every word embedding with mocking courage. Inspiring, memorable, and I bow down to the pen.

  • Angeline R. Alcala by Angeline R. Alcala
  • 3 years ago

Such a strong woman. Her poetry will live forever!

  • Nency Beukes by Nency Beukes
  • 3 years ago

The poem has enormously moved me. Right now I'm in a difficult and hurtful situation, but reading brings me comfort.

  • Mentor Exhibit by Mentor Exhibit
  • 3 years ago

This poem is so fascinating. It has inspired me a lot. I love its vivid use of words.

  • Abigael by Abigael, Nairobi
  • 6 years ago

This poem echoes the strength in a person in many forms, the determination in I rise, I rise, I rise. It describes life's common experience when we are down. It makes us unite in the experience and have the hope, we shouldn't stay down. It's memorable.

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