My Thoughts about Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”

The poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou is a poem that transcends race, culture, and background. (CX) Maya Angelou wrote as a black woman who had her own set of problems and issues that she was facing, but she was still able to write something that could be translated into almost anybody’s mind. (CD-CX) You can point to many themes in the poem. (IC) The main theme is recognizing and finding your own identity. (IC) This can apply to humans because many people struggle with finding their identity. (CX) Identity can be a complicated topic for some people. (IC) If you understand your identity, it can give you confidence and focus in your life. (IC) Some people in life may find themselves lost and struggling to find place in a rapidly changing society. (IC) For this reason, the poem’s theme of understanding your identity can apply to people. (IC)


The author shows the speaker’s change throughout the poem. (IC) The poem starts off as somewhat submissive when the author says ”You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt.” (IC) Then as the poem goes on, you experience a sudden shift in the author’s tone. (IC) The poem goes from a conversation to somebody else to an independent proclamation. (IC) The speaker beings to talk about being “a black ocean leaping and wide” and “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” (IC) This is a huge change from the beginning. (IC) The author does this all by removing outside influence and changing the speaker’s tone. (IC)


When it comes to writing a good poem, there needs to be purpose behind it. (CX) In Angelou’s case, she experienced tragedies in her life which led her to write this poem the way she did. (CX) Although her experienced may have helped her write this poem, an author does not have to go through some terrible tragedy to write a good poem. (IC) A good poem is a poem that everybody can relate to and impacts people positively. (CX) Tragedies are not necessary to relate to people because there are many other things, even small issues, that people can relate to. (CX)


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