STILL I RISE
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 the tides
Just like hopes spring high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by soleful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I have gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.
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 huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer and civil rights activist. Quoted from the Poets.org Website: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise
Photo of Serena Williams was photographed by Annie Liebowitz for the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine August 2017 edition.
This morning I was listening to a Dharma talk by Ruth King entitled "Suffering Rage and Refuge." http://dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/539/43513.html
In the talk, Ruth King recited the Maya Angelou poem at a week long retreat at Spirit Rock: Still I Rise: An Insight Meditation Retreat for People of Color.
Having just the day before seen the Vanity Fair cover of Serena Williams photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the Maya Angelou poem, "Still I Rise" was a perfect fit that I wanted to share.