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Mikayla Frazier

10/28/17
ENG 132
Ms. Jacobs
STILL I RISE TONE
& THEME ANALYSIS

With the poem, Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou, she describes the basic feelings

and descriptions of a person that does not need loathing or people to try and lift

her up. She shows us that she and all those oppressed in general are strong. We are

shown some of the thoughts and feelings people have displayed against her, but the

reality is she won't let them get her down. Her moral opulence allows her to rise

above where her ancestors fell to slavery, carrying herself as a strong woman. Her

ancestors to have a life in society without fear of what might happen to them. The

author is portrayed as this dream this gift her ancestors imagined.

In this poem Maya Angelou points out different elements throughout the

poem. This poem is structured within an 8 eight stanza with repetition of still I

rise. Two elements that I analyzed was tone and theme. Why did I choose these

two elements because I feel as if these two were the strongest elements that self
explains itself. I believe this poem can be interpreted as a call to assertiveness and

pride for colored people. It is an outcry to the humiliation, prejudice, and constant

drubbing this group was subjected to. Similar can be seen between black slavery,

drug addicts, racism and other groups that face constant thrashing by oppressors.

Still I Rise has the mysterious ability to incite these groups to rise, and stop pining

in sorrow while another tries to bury their soul. Im a black ocean, leaping and

wide (Maya Angelou)

The color black is usually used to create a sense of fear and evil. A black ocean

seems to describe an ocean that is full of cruelty and how things occur

unexpectedly. This may be referring to how her own life is, full of horrific and

unexpected events. The black ocean may also be describing her own race which

allows readers to understand that the poem is about racism. How this relates to the

theme in "Still I Rise", the reader sees the theme as self-respect. With phrases such

as "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes... but still,

like air, I'll rise" (Lines 25,26, and 28), the reader sees that Angelou is explaining

how someone could possibly put her down, and somehow, she will overcome it

with self-esteem. Like in "Sympathy", the reader sees that the theme is all about

discovering how a "caged bird" feels. The author exemplifies this by repeating the

phrase "I know why the caged bird sings!" (Lines 1,7,8,14,15, and 21). Then, he

goes into detail and explains how he has made that discovery. "It is not a carol of
joy or glee, but a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core" (Lines 18 and

19). Just like moons and like suns simile Comparing how she continuously raises

herself up emotionally to stay strong just, like how the moon and sun rises

everyday no matter what happens.

Maya Angelou highlights tone in Still I rise Each of these tones are expressed

in a form of imagery. Angelou displays this by giving such phrases as "Does my

sassiness upset you?" (Line 5), and "Does my haughtiness offend you?" (Line 17).

The phrases express that Angelou has a sense of self-respect and defiance. Angelou

also uses the term "Still I'll rise" (Lines 4, 12, 24, 30, 32, 36, 38, 41, 42, and 43) in

most of her poem. Without using the words "might, possibly, or may", this means

that she is defiant that she will overcome and rise above.

Ill rise; I rise repetition by repeating these words it makes the words that much

more powerful and makes it stand out and emphasizes Angelous message, which

is to stay strong and to never allow anything or anyone stop you from fighting and

living strong.

My interpretation would be that she absorbs and does not reflect any hostility

towards other and can sustain her pride and position and will not yield.

Afterwards, I listened to poem featured in audio. I chose while listening, her

speaks of what she went through. The poem was strong read is sad. However,
when you hear her reading it, the emotion is more vivid and I'm only able to

imagine what she felt writing this poem. I really look up to Maya Angelou as a

poet because her words are so encouraging. Still I Rise is one of the poetry for

inspiration for me. Still I rise has taught me to never give and dont let no one

keep me down . It is an excellent source for poets, students, teachers, or even

readers who want to become immersed in the beauty and creativeness of poetry in

the work of Maya Angelou.


Reference

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46446/still-i-rise