This week’s Read comes recommended by Finance Coordinator Meera who has chosen Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise.
“Dignity—the word itself—has come to mean different things to different people, as many words do. It doesn’t just mean always being stiff and composed. It means a belief in oneself, that one is worthy of the best. Dignity means that what I have to say is important, and I will say it when it’s important for me to say it. Dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive. And that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people.”
Something to help sustain her and others during hard times, Still I Rise is a proud and defiant statement for all people. From Maya Angelou’s collection of poetry of the same name that includes Phenomenal Woman, this poem is an absolute tonic for remembering your spirit is indomitable, or if you in any way feel cocooned in darkness and need to be encouraged by the beauty yet to come.
It was Maya Angelou’s birthday on Tuesday 4 April which brought this to my mind, and at the moment feels like it contains a much needed message for all of us in these uncertain times. A rousing call to a once enslaved people to overcome and joyfully experience the knowledge of their own freedom and happiness, this poem is a powerful gift for us all.
Still I Rise By 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.