Sasha K. Lotnikee

United States

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June 2, 2014

PROMPT: Open Prompt


Read these beautiful words carefully, savor every thought and memory that this poem conjures up.

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 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 my 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 backyard.

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.

Out of huts of history's shame I rise Up from past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black Ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in tide.

Leaving behind the nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestor’s gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.

Maya Angelou's strong voice still resonates in my ear to this day, several days after her death. her courage and determination make her a heroine- every word of her poetry echoes in my mind. As an African-American woman growing up in a place amid poverty and prejudice, she grew up to be the kind of woman I admire. A singer, a dancer, and finally, a poet. These words from "Still I Rise" are words worth remembering every day- reflecting perseverance, overcoming difficulties in life. They are all valuable qualities. Maya Angelou's talent for weaving together meaningful words has already earned her a place in American literature that will be remembered for generations.

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