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‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou
Nov 29, 22 Minutes Buy. Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. These poems are powerful, distinctive, and fresh—and, as always, full of the lifting rhythms of love and remembering. And Still I Rise is written from the heart, a celebration of life as only Maya Angelou has discovered it. I find it very moving and at times beautiful. It has an innate purity about it, unquenchable dignity. It is astounding, flabbergasting, to recognize it, in all the words I read every day and night.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Still I Rise
It was published during one of the most productive periods in Angelou's career; she had written three autobiographies and published two other volumes of poetry up to that point. Angelou considered herself a poet and a playwright, but was best known for her seven autobiographies, especially her first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , although her poetry has also been successful. She began, early in her writing career, alternating the publication of an autobiography and a volume of poetry. Although her poetry collections have been best-sellers, they have not received serious critical attention. And Still I Rise is made up of 32 short poems, divided into three parts.
Tell students that authors often use imagery to create comparisons between literal and figurative elements, add depth and understanding to a literary piece, and evoke a more meaningful experience for the reader. Before reading the poem, define or review definitions for the following elements of imagery: personification, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia and hyperbole. Definitions can be found here. Note: Either print the poem out or give the class access online. Students working with the printed text can use a highlighter to identify examples of imagery in the poem.
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