Saturday, 21 May 2022

'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou


The poem is new to me 
It slaps you hard when heard for the first time does it not ?
The words AND the performance 

It’s Nu’s birthday today, she’s in Turkey 
Off to work

49 comments:

  1. Really powerful! Amazing lady.
    Have a good work day.

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  2. Thank you, John. That poem is new to me, too. I think it's relevant, not only because of the slave link, but to anyone who's been subjugated, put down, belittled, rejected. It reminded me of the Labi Siffre song, "So strong." That always brings a tear to my eyes, too. xx

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    1. Something inside so strong?

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    2. Yes, that's the one. He has a lovely voice, and that song is so emotive. xx

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  3. I only 'discovered' Maya A. about 25 years ago when I'd reached my 50s, and it was indeed a belated epiphany for me. Though familiar with this poem from off the printed page, this is the first time I've seen her performing it - and, by God, it really DEMANDS to be watched. What splendour!

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    1. I’m 60 and it would seem I’ve just found her resonance

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  4. That will help me a lot John-I've tried all sorts and this seems the best -thanks x

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  5. What a remarkable lady she was. I had the good fortune to attend one of her appearances at one of our local Universities many decades ago. Even had excellent seating close to the front. I especially recall she demonstrated how black men walk as she strutted back and forth across the stage which she said so many white people find objectionably offensive and arrogant. Of course, her words and readings were impressive.

    I had, coincidentally, just "found" her biography and read "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" after seeing her TV appearance on Bill Moyers program. In the program she had returned to a place of her youth and I realized I had been living in that state those same years. Moving there I had been shocked at the overt discrimination with signs separating the races, required seating at the back of buses for people of her race, attitudes of some people we encountered. She described what she experienced those years where she was living, bringing up all those memories and pained feelings I had from those few years where we lived.

    The town, where she lived was divided by railroad tracks and she was on the "wrong side". Those residents rarely crossed to the other side as they weren't welcome, plus it could be dangerous for them. She walked with Moyers to those tracks, but after a pause, she said she could not bring herself to cross them even on that day so many years later. That was also the town where she was sexually violated. The whole thing brought tears to my eyes for that little girl and does now as i remember.

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    1. You make a powerful point that underlines just why her poems and writing is so important. I m inspired to read her
      And have just ordered her books

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  6. Anonymous8:54 am

    I know the poem well, John, but had never seen that powerful performance before. Thank you for sharing this. Catriona

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  7. veg artist9:08 am

    She was an amazing, inspiring woman.
    This has brought to mind one of my favourite quotes: 'The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.' Nelson Mandela.

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  8. A very powerful poem, she was a remarkable woman.

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  10. One of my favorite works of hers. She was amazing in every way, including what she overcame. Her books are well worth the read.

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  11. I heard her read that live at Bill Clinton's inauguration.

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    1. I want to find out more about her dave

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  12. Powerful in every way! And a slap in the face to every bigot and hater.

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  13. This is my favorite Angelou poem; thanks for sharing her reading it.

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  14. Maya Angelou was a treasure and I have many of her wonderful works. This poem and her reading are fabulous!

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  15. I saw her once do a reading, a talk. I took my children to see her. I tried to go see her again years later and the lines for people waiting were too daunting. I am glad that the love and appreciation people held for her was known to her while she was still alive.

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    1. I love the fact that several people who comment have actually seen her and heard her speak

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  16. The strength of the spoken word

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  17. I saw her at Clarion University, probably ten or 12 years ago. When she came out on stage, she sat. It was obvious that she was not as strong as she once was. But as soon as she opened her mouth, I tell you true, that voice silenced a massive auditorium filled with people. She spoke. Everyone listened. She was an amazing human being.

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  18. Great poem! Rising above the fray is a skill that everybody could benefit from.

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    1. It’s the way her eyes flash with that knowing grin of mockery

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  19. That was so powerful! I will make it a point to read at least one of her books.

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    1. I want to see more of her performance pieces

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  20. Barbara Anne4:25 pm

    I first hear this poem years ago and it doesn't lose it's power in the retelling.
    Happy Birthday, Nu!!

    Hugs!

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    1. It’s new to me ,though andra day sang a version I rise up I’m guessing

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  21. One of my favourites - both the poem and the woman herself.

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    1. I’ve heard of her of course pat and I’ve seen her interviewed but I’ve never read any of her poetry or books .
      It’s time I will

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  22. A wonderful woman whom I strongly admire.

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    1. She has a power and a dignity all of her own

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  23. And when people show you who they are? Believe them. A very wise woman. Julie C

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  24. Anonymous10:10 am

    Wonderful poem thank you for sharing
    it. I must read more of her work.

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  25. Anonymous8:47 pm

    I was fortunate enough to see her on stage many years ago. Unforgettable!
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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  26. Maya Angelou recited that poem at the convening of the World Choir in Atlanta in ~ 1994. My son sang with the choir, and it seems like there was a song based on the poem. It was good to hear her recite it again. One of the blessings of the internet age.

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