Still I Rise-Cushing

Grace Cushing
Ms. Nelson
English 3 Period
February 27, 2012

“Still I Rise”  Theme

        Do you ever feel like your challenges are to much to overcome? In this poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, it shows her perseverance on rising above slavery and racism. The theme of this poem is beating horrific or challenging obstacles throughout life, and moving beyond them.

      The line “But still like dust I rise,” shows people that no matter what obstacles we are going through in life, we will never stop rising. This is a simile that compares the author, and dust; showing the reader that despite any and all challenges, no matter how difficult, you can overcome them. For this reason it shows the theme of perseverance.

      The second line, “Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines/ Diggin’ in my own backyard,” shows us that we should not allow people to see the pain that they inflict upon us. This simile compares the authors happiness, and gold mines in her own backyard. She uses this simile to describe that she is going to be happy under any circumstance, and shows the theme of rejoicement at any point in her life.

      The third and final line I will be discussing is, “You may cut me with your eyes,” which gives the message that some people are going to give you dirty and nasty looks in your lifetime. This idiom states someone’s  eyes as being weapons against the author. She uses this idiom to describe that the way some people look at you can be very hurtful. The theme of this line, is to not allow peoples negative thoughts and opinions to define who you are.

      All of these messages contribute to the theme of this poem, which is, with the right attitude you can overcome anything. This may be important to the reader because, the reader may have obstacles of their own in his or her life. The authors words may give them hope of overcoming their own.


Maya Angelou-Cushing

Maya Angelou

Born: April 4, 1928

Died: Still alive

Current age: 83

Maya Angelou is known as one of the most renowned, and influential voices of our time. She was born in St. Louis Missouri on April 4th 1928. At the age of fourteen, she dropped out of San Francisco Labor school during her studies on dance and drama; she earned a scholarship to do so.

She went on with her life, and graduated highschool. A few weeks later, after graduating she gave birth to her son “Guy.” To support her son she took up two jobs as a waitress, and a cook. Maya had one sibling, Bailey and she was married twice, to Tosh Angelos, and Paul De Feu. Her parents divorced when she was at the young age of three.

Years later Maya’s writing career began, she joined the Harlem Writers Guild and became involved in black activism. “Maya Angelou’s five-volume autobiography commenced with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1970.” ” Angelou has been invited by successive Presidents of the United States to serve in various capacities.”

Maya Angelou is an extremely successive poet, and has influenced many lives around the world today!