Maya Angelo’s words have comforted and provoked me ever since I as a teenager came across her books.
The world is less without her.Â May her wisdom live within and around us for many years to come.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, Iâ€™ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
â€˜Cause I walk like Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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?
Donâ€™t you take it awful hard
â€˜Cause I laugh like Iâ€™ve got gold mines
Digginâ€™ in my own backyard.
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, Iâ€™ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like Iâ€™ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of historyâ€™s shame
Up from a past thatâ€™s rooted in pain
Iâ€™m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak thatâ€™s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou – Home To Glory