Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Maya Angelou

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?
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.

'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.

~ Maya Angelou

 It was my second trip to Clarion to see her, but I tell you that she was worth two trips. She held the auditorium spellbound as she spun her words across the stage. At the end, Cara said admiringly, "Well, who knew? Maya Angelou is a bit of bad ass." I agreed. She was a woman assured and strong, and her words were the words that all women should know.

Afterwards, as we walked empty halls so that I could use the bathroom before I headed home, Cara playfully said, "Does my sassiness upset you?" "No," I answered. "It is always what I have loved best in you." Cara repeated it again, a couple times in the empty hall. "Does my sassiness upset you?" She decided that it well could become her new catch phrase.

I listened to her sassiness, and I smiled to myself. I am not upset by her sassiness, and that is the truth. That spirit? That is how I know that she is safe. She will not be a victim. That knowledge is important to me.

 I drove the hour and a half back home, watching the heat lightning flash across the sky.

3 comments:

Mary Paddock said...

Ooh! You got to see Maya Angelou live? I.am.green. :) Have you ever read her autobiography?

Bill of Wasilla said...

Lucky. Wish I could have gone.

Coralee said...

As noted above, I am 'green' also, wish I would have known she was that close.
Thanks for sharing Still I Rise, great way to start the day.