Response to “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
In Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” I believe she is speaking to everyone. This poem is an example of how she was able to touch so many in so many ways. How could her grace, confidence, determination, intelligence, and quest for peace not touch you? She speaks to all saying “still I rise.” Everyone has a time, or a thousand, in their life where she needs to rise. Her words speak sadness without pity and hope without abandonment. Instead of focusing on all of the difficult obstacles that are brought about with chronic migraine, I want to focus on the positive. I believe it is the point that Maya was trying to bring home. Beyond the “broken, lies, defeat, cries, shame, pain, and fear” that life throws at us, there is “pride, life, courage, hope, and a dream.” Ending with “naturally, there I go rising” is powerful. The word “naturally” speaks to the human spirit. I have been told countless times “I don’t know how you do it” in reference to my pain. Naturally, I rise. I rise, to laugh and dance again, like she says. I rise to kiss my children and husband. I rise to be the person I want to be instead of the person I am forced to be. I rise as a big F.You to my pain (although I’m not sure if Maya would agree with my wording). My choice is to allow it to consume me or rise. I may not always have a choice to raise out of bed or out into the world but in the cold dark room I live, I remind myself, I too shall rise. Thank you Maya for reminding us that it’s ok to have dark times. Only then will you truly rise.