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poem on your blog day


Poem on your blog day, April 30
I can honestly say that I’m not much on rhymes or poetry, claiming myself to be either firmly ensconced in technical geekness, or considering myself to be a creatively-challenged person. I’m sure quite a few people would say otherwise. Be that as it may, I thought it would be cool to dig into the crates for Poem On Your Blog Day, declared by RonnTaylor and buttonized by Ofrenda. The first poem that came to mind is by Maya Angelou.
Maya was one of the people that hit me at an early age, though not in poetry, but in books. I would read voraciously when I was younger, and practically memorized some of her books, like I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Singin’ And Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas. The last poem that I can remember clearly that struck me, however, was Still I Rise, which always makes me smile in the face of danger and uncertainty.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou

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.

I’ll be purchasing this today. It’s a shame I haven’t bought this already.

7 Responses “poem on your blog day”

  1. 30 April 2004 at 08:37

    I’ve always loved this poem. I had to recite it in 5th grade as part of a Black History performance. This poem has helped keep me grounded.

  2. 30 April 2004 at 12:49

    It’s All ‘Bout Love…

    Since I’m looking forward to May and all its splendor I’m going old school for today’s Poetry on your Blog Day. Goodbye April. I look forward to celebrating the love in many different ways: walking on Sunday for a…

  3. 30 April 2004 at 19:36

    Art Goes Roaming

    There are some blog-wide things I’d rather not participate in, but there are some things that are right up my alley, such as this. I didn’t want to pick just any old poem, I wanted to pick something that pertains…

  4. 1 May 2004 at 04:55

    great choice of poem for poem day

  5. 1 May 2004 at 16:03

    I was looking at this one, too — it’s one of the few I actually know (mmmm Cali public) and the first one I thought of when I picked my accompanying photo (I did things a little backwards there) but I figured it’s such a great example that someone else would get it. Plus I wanted to represent *my* folks 😉

  6. 2 May 2004 at 13:02

    Great choice, EJ. My sister is actually publishing her first book of poetry, Cottonlandia, next year. It’s all about growing up in southwest Georgia, and traces both family history and the history of the crop-cotton- that defined the area for so long.
    In the meantime, I just posted one of my favorites on my site. It’s a family favorite, actually, along with Stephen Vincent Benet’s epic on the Civil War, John Brown’s Body.

  7. 2 May 2004 at 16:19

    Poem on Your Blog Day

    Today in New York, it is �Poem in Your Pocket Day.� Everyone is invited to carry their favorite poem with them to share with friends and family. Ronn ran with the concept and has encouraged bloggers to post poems on their sites. Now, I�ve never been t…

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I'm just the kid trippin' over the sea of CDs....