Analysis on Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”

In the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, Maya uses strong words to describe how she feels. She uses words like lies, broken, pain, terror and fear to glue to bring the rest of the words together. As Maya constantly throw in her enemy’s face about how nothing can bring her down. She also use words like sassiness, haughtiness, and sexiness, to describe herself and ask her enemy does all of that upset or offend him due to the fact that she still rise above the problems that her enemy throws at her.

In this poem Maya’s tone is a little positive and negative at the same time. As you read the poem you can hear sassiness and pride mixed with a little anger. In my opinion I think that was smart how she balanced the tone instead of having a positive or negative poem.

In the poem Maya compares herself to dust, air, and hopes swinging high, to show the audience that she still rises above negativity. She also says that she laugh like she has gold mines and dance like she has diamonds at the meeting of her thighs. Even though that may not be true she says it to prove to the audience that she is happy.

The structure of the poem she writes eight stanzas. She has four lines on the first seven stanzas, and fifteen lines on the last stanza. The rhyme schemes on the first seven stanzas are A, B, C, and B. On the last stanza it’s A,B,A,B,B,B,C,B,C,B,D,D,B,B,B. I think that on the last stanza Maya was concluding on what is the poem really about due to the fact rhyme pattern and meter of the last stanza.

In Conclusion, Maya taught her enemy and audience with play of words and her tone in this poem. So when she gave the audience the last stanza she gave me an idea of what the theme could really be. The theme of this poem is her past and how she still got back up when people put her down about her color. Being under control over and being told what she should and shouldn’t do didn’t affect her at all and she still ends up being a strong woman.


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