In this stanza, she lets society know that no matter what it does to oppress her, it will not succeed. She lets society know that it cannot prevail against her with words or looks. She proclaims that society cannot prevail against her even if it managed to have her killed because of its hatefulness. She claims that she will still “like air” rise (” Still I Rise”).
The speaker continues her questioning of society. By this time in the poem, it becomes apparent that the speaker has placed society on trial and is now in the process of cross-examination. She knows the answers to these questions, but to ask them is to incriminate the offender. While she asks incriminating questions, she simultaneously reveals incredible self-confidence despite the oppression of society (” Still I rise”).
In this stanza, the speaker finally refers to the past- the reason that she is oppressed and resented to this day. She calls slavery “history’s shame” and she proclaims that she will not be held down by the past, even if it is “rooted in pain” (” Still I Rise”).
In the final stanza, the speaker reveals that she intends to leave behind all the effects of slavery and the history of oppression with intent to rise above it. She claims that she will leave behind the “terror and fear” and that she will rise above the pain and the oppression “into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear”. The speaker does not intend to allow the hatefulness of society or the pain of the past to stop her from becoming all that she ever dreamed of being. For this reason, she repeats three times, “I rise” (” Still I Rise”).
Identifying the Rhyme
TheRhyme scheme in the poem still I Rise are: lies, rise; gloom, room; tides, rise; eyes, cries ;hard,yard ;eye,rise ;wide, tide; fear, clear ;gave, slave.We can recognize in the poem “still I Rise” that the rhyme is regular in the first seven stanzas then we notice a shift of the rhyme in the last of the poem, in addition to that also we can notice that Maya Angelou used rhyme in each stanza of the poem still I rise .
According to “What is the rhyme scheme” the rhyme scheme starts off as ‘A-B-C-B’ until the last two verses where it changes to ‘A-B-A-B-C-C’ and the again for the last verse where it changes to ‘A-B-A-B-C-C-B-B-B’.
Identifying the meter
Maya Angelou in her poem still I rise usesirregular meter. In other words, there is a shift in the meter. Maya Angelou applied a different meter in each stanza, we can consider the important of this shift that Maya Angelou tried to emphasize a particular words and gives a value to certain words in the poem.
Angelou manipulates meter in each stanza to emphasize certain words. For example, stanza one consists of the following:
You may write | me down | in hi | story
With your bi |tertwi |stedlies
You may trod | me in | the ve| rydirt
But still | like dust | I’ll rise ( “Author still”).
“|” marks divisions between feet,bold marks stressed syllables.Lines 1 and 3 begin with an anapaest (unstressed, unstressed, stressed), followed by three iambs (unstressed, stressed). Line 2 begins with an anapaest followed by two iambs. Line 4 is regular iambic trimester (three iambs), giving it more emphasis and really drawing our attention to the word “still”––very powerful and emphasizes the narrator’s perseverance. The meter shifts slightly in each stanza, and then shifts greatly in the last two stanzas as the poem employs repetition to leave the reader with a lasting impression of the narrator’s determination (“Author still”).
Identifying the form of the poem
After we determined the scheme rhyme and the meter, we can discover that Maya Angelou’s poem is taken the form of free-verse because of the irregular use of rhyme and meter. However, it is much more depends on how we define the term free-verse which is the poet can do whatever he/she wants or whatever he/she thinks best, he/she is free in his writing without giving consideration to the literary patterns. From this definition we can say that still I rise is a free-verse.
The poem still I rise can be considered as a private writing of a black woman wants to speak up for herself, for other black people because of the bad treatment of the white oppressors against the black people, the poem addresses those people who underestimate the black woman because of her skin colour and because of her history of slavery. Maya Angelou poem is about the external fight of black woman against racism and prejudice, a woman wants to encourage her brothers to not give up under any circumstances. Maya Angelou in her poem still I rise expresses her strong feelings and determination about the situation that the white oppressors created.
Analysingthe title of still I rise by Maya Angelou
When we read the title of Maya Angelou’s poem, we can determine that the poem is about hope, determination, and strong power to stand up against an external force, we can notice that the poem is in private form. In other words, the poet is speaking about himself, is expressing his feelings and strong emotions, addressing other people concerning with this message.
Maya Angelou influenced by the struggle of the African American women against the white oppressors, her desire to write this poem comes as a result of the bad situation that the white oppressors created for the people like her, with different colour, ethnicity, social class, religion, and various aspects. The title of the poem” still I rise” reveals a powerful strength and determination exists in a black woman struggling to overcome her past and to make her future goes to the correct side, in order to create a better destination, for herself and for the next generation.
The title “still I rise” also reveals a powerful message, written by a black woman which hold a big heart, confidence, and great courage to overcome any obstacles that comes in the way; the title hold a message for people whom experienced racism and discrimination in their lives; to say to them that whatever you experience, you have to be proud and not to give up under any circumstances and to win the battle against people who criticize you and your ancestors.
The title “still I rise” reveals a positive tone and a powerful strength of a woman fighting to overcome racism and discrimination, to overcome the white oppressors whom treat her badly just because it physically different, either because of colour, race, social class, or religion. However, she has a great potential and great faith to overcome any difficulties, and to pass the hatefulness of the society.