Sunday, December 09, 2012

And Still I Rise

Here's Maya Angelou, reciting her poem, Still I Rise.
(And Still I Rise is the book.)
Which is a lot more powerful and expressive when you see and hear her say it.
The words below are how she says the poem on the video.

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?
Just 'cause I walk as if I have oil wells,
Pumping in my living room.

Just like suns and like moons,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I 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 sassiness upset you? [laughs]
Don't you take it so hard just 'cause I laugh. [laughs]
As if I had gold mines,
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You can shoot me with your words,
You can cut me with your lies,
You can kill me with your hatefulness,
But just like life, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness offend you? [awh]
Does it come as a surprise,
That I dance, [sways]
As if I have diamonds,
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame,
I rise.
Up from a past rooted in pain,
I rise.
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 miraculously clear,
I rise.
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the hope and the dream of the slave.

And so naturally, [gestures up]
There I go rising.

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