Essays On Maya Angelou'S Poetry

Essays On Maya Angelou'S Poetry-11
African American writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is just one example of a poet that has had a lasting impression on American literature (

African American writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is just one example of a poet that has had a lasting impression on American literature (

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If Angelou literally had oil wells pumping in her living room, she would be a very lucky, proud, and rich woman. ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.

By making this statement, it is intended for it to symbolize the confidence she has in herself despite the oppressive circumstances that she has endured. 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.

Angelou’s classic book, ), a proto-memoir, and a roman a clef.

(Genre wasn’t nearly as important in 1969 as it is now; there was no “creative nonfiction” or “memoir” or “lyrical essay,” and postmodernism was, and still is, a slippery term better left to sharper minds.) Using the same kind of literary techniques that would earned Frank Mc Court a Pulitzer thirty years later, Angelou rendered her story as literature, as poetry, though not fictitiously.

Her writing is characterized by obsequious details, a sensuous but not romanticized way of looking at the corporeal world.

Her singular style of lyricism is rooted in the oral traditions of storytelling prevalent in black communities.She used her articulate grasp of language to turn memories into art.Hilton Als eloquently said Angelou was a “pioneer of self-exposure.” For now, suffice it to say that book is undeniably autobiographical and undeniably great.Although Angelou beautifully executes the use of imagery in “Still I Rise,” she also successfully utilizes symbolism in the poem.The most prominent example of symbolism is the phrase “I rise.” The definition of the word ‘rise’ is “to assume an upright position especially from lying, kneeling, or sitting” ( However, Angelou intends for it to symbolize resilience against racial oppression.The most powerful and effective metaphor used in the poem is “I am a black ocean, leaping and wide” (lines 33, 34).One may view a black ocean as frightening, dark, and difficult to get through.The most effective simile that illustrates social activism in the poem is “Just like moons and like suns / Still I’ll rise” (lines 9,12).Similar to how the moon and sun rises every day and every night, Angelou is saying that she will continue to rise up again and again against the oppression.She is saying that even though the oppressors may knock her down, she will rise back up and fight against them.Rather than saying something denotative such as “I resist oppression,” this use of literary symbolism makes the point she is trying to convey more potent.


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