Be Encouraged, like Maya Angelou (‘Still I 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?
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 words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
  • A portion of a timeless poem, Still I Rise, which is part of the rich written legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou (full poem from

Maya_at_wheelock_14276932486_1940e8784f_bMaya Angelou, Wheelock College (Boston), October 1988

 A deeply spiritual woman, Dr. Maya Angelou was bent, but never broken!

Unkind words, or acts of ‘hatefulness’ meant to break her, did not deter her.   Still she rose.

She was encouraged in the Lord; she knew who gave her the power to deal with those who sought (in vain) to keep her down.   Still she rose!

  • Lesson: Regardless of what life puts in your path, still rise and keep walking!
  • Just as I learned a lot about the virtues of not being bitter from the life of Nelson Mandela, this Angelou poem (excerpted above), 2 videos (links below), & a few things I’ve read -in last 24 hours- have shed a lot of light on Maya Angelou.   The way she lived her life, for 4 score & 6 years by the way, holds many lessons – about living Life to the fullest . . . as a consummate Writer/Author and proud child of God!
  • Maya Angelou: April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014.     A memorial service is being held for her at Mount Zion Baptist Church (Winston Salem) this evening; she was a member of the Central NC church for over 30 years.

  • Two short Videos, Oprah Winfrey interview (8 minutes total), serve as a ‘crash course’ into the spirituality of the late Maya Angelou: Part 1Part 2
  • Angelou Poem: Still I Rise (

  Greg Silverthorne

Photo credit: Wheelock College/flickrCC



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