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Still I Rise

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

“Just like moons and like suns,
with the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,
still I’ll rise.”
(Angelou 9-12)

The stanza is about hope, resilience, struggle, perseverance, and determination in rising high, and gaining liberty and enlightenment. Maya Angelou is an American civil rights activist and the poem “And Still I Rise” is publication of the year 1978, which represents the feelings of suppressed communities struggling to gain equal rights in the United States. The second line of 9-10 stanza, ‘with the certainty of tides’ is the last of two lines and follows a rhythmic pattern, which exists in the line 12, ‘still I’ll rise.’ The pattern explains the meaning of the lines, separated with another line, and still means to express, that is, ‘with the certainty of tides … still I’ll rise.’ However, both the pair of lines also express their individual meanings of expressing emotional height of hope and resilience. Generally, the poem highlights the struggle of Americans during the decade of 1970s, when the poem was published, and explains the assertion of resilience and dignity, despite the odds of systematic oppression. Poet expresses belief and faith in the struggle and morals, which equates to the certainty of tides ‘… moon and like suns.’ Furthermore, poet highlights the unique sentiment of ‘hope’ in the face of systematic oppression of African-American for centuries; although, he does not mention it specifically. ‘Still I Rise’ is a poem that reflects emotional state of an individual, or a community, with respect to the struggle of morals, culture, and rights. The poetry gives ‘goose bump’ to the reader, and makes it feel the hope, resilience, and determination that reflects in the poetic formation. A beauty of this poem lies in sharing the feelings of a group, but with respect to a personal level, whereby the individual members get the chance of enjoying the shared idea of ‘hope’ and ‘resistance’ at commune level.

Works Cited

Maya Angelou. “Still I Rise.” Poetry Foundation, 2019,



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