Ray Bradbury said, "Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition."
I wish I could write poetry to find the perfect turn of phrase, which would evoke a deep and lasting emotion for my readers but unfortunately, I can't. But I can read and enjoy the work of others. With that in mind, I thought I would share a poem that speaks to me - Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
There is no doubt that it was written for African American women but I believe it speaks to any woman who feels beaten down by life. Ms. Angelou tells us we can overcome and rise above the hardships and pain.
I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread 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
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.