The final poem we had to read in one of my classes this semester was by Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise.” While I don’t dare to think that I have experienced anything like the slaves did, it still spoke to me. It fits.
Still I Rise – by Maya Angelou
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?/’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 me 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 back yard.
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.
Does my sexiness upset you?/Does it come as a surprise/That I dance like I’ve got diamonds/At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame/I rise/Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I rise/I’m 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 that’s wondrously clear/I rise/Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,/I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
While I’m not a slave, don’t descend from slaves, have never experienced the life of a slave, this poem still speaks to me. The strength that this woman shows. The utter sassiness of her manner. This is what I want to feel like all the time. This is how I want to be – dancing like I have diamonds in my vajayjay. Cause I’m just that amazing. This is the woman I want to be all day, every day. Here’s to hoping we all find our rising and that we can all tap into it. Whatever it is.