Literary Analysis Of Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

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The American writer and poet Maya Angelou was known for being able to tell her story in a compelling way. Angelou in her writings was able to talk about her life, and racial experience, and how she was able to overcome injustice, prejudice and, struggle. In what is perhaps her most famous poem, “Still I Rise”, Angelou masterfully writes about her ability to “rise” over oppression, despite all of the forces that were pushing her down, and about her ability to find strength through adversity. “Still I Rise” is a poem that is very symbolic, and strikes a very empowering and encouraging tone. “Still I Rise” talks about Angelou’s personal experience of overcoming adversity and the injustices that she faced. It is written in the first person, making it a great example of a lyric poem. The poem contains forty-three lines, which are broken up into nine stanzas. The first seven stanzas of the poem contain four lines each, while the final two stanzas contain six and nine lines, respectively. The first seven stanzas of the poem can be referred to as quatrains, as the each contain four lines. In its first seven stanzas, the poem follows a specific, ABCB rhyme scheme. In the first stanza, for example, the lines end with the words, “history”, “lies”, “dirt”, “rise” (“Still I Rise, lines 1-4). In the final two stanzas of the poem, the rhyme scheme is more irregular, compared to the first seven stanzas. It is also important to examine the tone of the poem, to fully understand the symbolism

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