Read the following poem and respond to the questions appropriately.

      ‘STILL I RISE’

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 certainity 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 tear drops.

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 backyard.


You may shoot me with your word

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’’ll rise.


Out of the hurts of history’’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I raise

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 day brake that is wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my

Ancestors game,

I am the dream and the

Hope of the slave

I rise

I rise

I rise

Adapted from: Maya Angelous’ STILL I RISE (1978)

  1. With support from the poem, briefly explain what the poem is about. (3 marks)
  2. Identify three challenges that the speaker in the poem contends with. (3 marks)
  3. What is the attitude of the speaker towards these challenges? (2 marks)
  4. Identify and illustrate figures of speech from the poem above. Comment on their effectiveness.             (4 marks)
  5. Other than the style in (4) above, identify and illustrate other two stylistic devices employed by the poet. (4 marks)
  6. Explain the meaning of the following phrases as they are used in poem. (3 marks)
  7. a) ‘Cause I laugh I’’ve got gold mines’
  8. b) ‘But still, like dust, I’ll rise’.
  9. c) I am Black Ocean, leaping and wide.
  10. Supply the following sentence with ethe correct question tag. (1 mark)

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

HOD Academics Changed status to publish November 22, 2021