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Style Analysis

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Style Analysis
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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 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
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise



     Through many years of writing, Maya Angelou writing style has remained constant. In her poem “Still I Rise” Maya Angelou conveys her passionate and powerful style with natural and inspiring words. Maya Angelou demonstrates his style through the usage of literary devices, parallelism, tone, vocabulary, and symbolism.


     In her poem Maya Angelou demonstrate her writing style with literary devices such as smiles, personification, rhetoric questions, repetition, anaphora and hyperbole. The poet showed her style by giving examples of similes “shoulders fall falling down like teardrops”, and “because I walk like I have got oil wells, pumping in my living room.” In the poem the poet Maya Angelou, gave examples of personification like “you may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies” and “weakened by my soulful cries.”


     The poem has a variety of rhetoric questions such as “did you want to see me broke?” and “does my haughtiness offend you?” The poem has an example of repetition such as “just like moons and like suns.” In the poem the poet gives an example of an anaphora “you may shoot me with your words; you may cut me with your eyes.” In addition to all of these literary devices the poet makes usage of a hyperbole when she states “because I walk like I got oil wells, pumping in my living room.”


     In Maya Angelou poem just like this one “Still I raise” the poet makes usage of parallelism. In the poem there is a parallelism within the stanzas. In the first lines a problem is presented but in the last line the poet presents the action that she is going to take for example the poet stated “ you may write me down in history” but then she concluded “ but still, like dust, I will rise.” The form of this stanzas shows a type of cause and effect parallels within all of the stanzas, and at the end of the poem the poet reaffirms three times that she will rise “I rise, I rise, and I rise.”


     The tone of Maya Angelou in her poem “Still I rise” is very strong, powerful and inspiring.  The tone that she used gives strength, support, and inspiration to all women that don’t believe in themselves. The tone in this poem is of a woman that has all the passion in her and believes that she is going to make in life. In not one of those lines, does she not believe that she is not going to be able to make it and survive against everything that is thrown at her. In addition Maya Angelou tone was defensive, as she was defending her position and what she believed in as a woman.


     In her poem Maya Angelou conveyed her home style through the usage of her vocabulary. The poet used a very simple and natural home like style vocabulary that can be understood by everyone. Maya Angelou style is simple but her words are strong and impacting. The way the poet puts the words together makes the reader understand the message she wants to convey, for example here the word “lies” is a very simple word but the importance of it, is much stronger. The poet Maya Angelou is fighting against those twisted lies, and bitter times.


     Maya Angelou conveys her magical style through the usage of symbolism. Specially, in this poem “Still I Rise” Maya Angelou conveys infinite examples of symbolism. One example of symbolism that Maya Angelou uses in this poem is “out of the huts of history’s shame.” The history shames is the fact that back when she was young Maya Angelou didn’t want to be a black girl because of her hair, because she was mistreated, and because she was not accepted by society.  The adolescent years of Maya Angelou were history of sadness and mistreatment from everyone that surrounded her.


     In conclusion Maya Angelou conveys her style writing through the usage of literary devices, tone, symbolism, parallelism, and vocabulary. All of these elements melt together into a pot, creating an amazing poem that conveys the natural and home style writing of Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou writing style is passionate, for life, for freedom and for a spirit of conquering. Maya Angelou is a compelling poet to those woman out there that are falling, and need a voice to lift them up and make then shine. Maya Angelou is an inspiration that demonstrates through this poem that amazing and magnificent things can be achieved in life.