Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou is a poet, award-winning writer, a journalist, an activist, a performer, a dancer, an actress, a director and a teacher. She has written many books, including her autobiography, several poetry collections and a number of books for children. She was asked by President Bill Clinton to read a poem at his inauguration in 1993. Here she is reading one of her poems called, "Still I Rise". It is a beautiful poem about the human spirit. In it, she talks about how no matter what happens, we pick ourselves up and move forward. It is a very inspirational poem, and the way she reads it is beautiful.

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?
Just 'Cause I walk as if I have oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like suns and like moons,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I 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 sassiness upset you?
Don't you take it so hard
Just 'cause I laugh as if I have gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your lies,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But just like life, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness offend you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance as if I have diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past rooted in pain
I rise
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 miraculously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I hope and the dream of the slave.
And so, naturally......
There I go rising.

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