From the moment it was published in 1978, “Still I Rise” has been one of Maya Angelou’s best-loved and most influential poems. It has inspired figures as diverse as Bill Clinton and Tupac Shakur and has become a staple in the canon of American poetry. Dr. Angelou’s directness and candor affirms the power of individual strength over collective history, as well as to the power of individual lives to shape our shared future. Watch and listen as the great poet, who died at age 86 on 28 May 2014, introduces and recites her paean to resilience and dignity.


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  • Cheryl

    Americans need to heal from this divisive election. Those to whom we look for leadership have called us by derogatory names. We've been deceived, stunned and slighted... but still, again, we'll rise!

  • Deborah

    Feeling unloved by the very people that I gave my heart, devotion and trust to, have saddened me since childhood. Not knowing or understanding why these things weren't given in return, at least, when I needed them. Undercurrents of envy filled my world, that I didn't and never wanted to acknowledge...because,who was I? I was no one except someone who wanted to love and be loved in return. I love people, regardless of our differences, for we are part of the human family and children of God. When I finally came to accept the real reasons for some of my family's and others behavior, I felt lost. Although, I had read Maya's poem before, especially during Hillary' campaign, I never applied it to my own suffering and pain, because as I said before...who was I? Thank you Maya Angelou, for putting my pain in prospective and finally conquering it with pride, joy and understanding. From this day forward I will not be afraid to "Rise."

  • Rose

    First let me start by saying.....This lady has the glory of God shining out with this most Beautiful, Powerful, Motivational & Heartfelt Message......Thank-you for this Gift Maya you were a very great woman.

  • Amit Darji

    nice thought :)

  • Amit DARji

    Fabulously inspirational to hear this read by the poet :) I like :)

  • sandy

    I love this woman!

  • Heather

    Amazingly profound!

  • Julie

    Very inspirational! Love Maya Angelou and always will. Tremendous woman;so full of life and very accomplished. Most importantly,Maya reached out to people and they heard her. Best poet ever!Promoted peace,good will and so funny. Maya Angelou should win the Nobel Peace Prize. Wow,what a woman: full of love,spirituality,humility,deep soul,huge heart, extremely intelligent,so smart,savvy,endless energy,great mentor and peace messenger. So very wise woman.Huge legacy and a pure HERO definitely. You're always in my heart!

  • John

    I am as moved by the tributes paid by these writers as I am each morning, listening to Maya's poem spoken by her. Forgive my presumption here, but I think she would would smile to know what you've said. For me, this is not only her lagacy, it's her immortality.



  • Frank Lane

    Her words touch deep in the human spirit, connecting our hearts beyond our mindset. God I love her wisdom.

  • roselyne

    yes...I rise

  • Brian

    Amen! What a gift she is to Earth!...and we rise...4ever! peace...

  • bilkis.yusuf

    wonderful to hear maya's video, what an inspiring soul,yes one individual can make all the difference, we need more people like her to make this world a better place to live in

  • Babs

    We are newborn every moment. Thanks for reminding us Maya.

  • Letha Parsons

    That the human spirit is undefeatable !! And still I rise ..... Does my sexiness offend you? Does my Sassiness offend You??? And still I rise!! Her spirit .. Her wisdom ... She inspires my with her Frankness .. Her truth become ours and her laugh Her voice .. Delights me and awakens my soul !

  • Marie

    I so admire her confidence, her candor, her courage!!

  • Anne

    Shivers down my spine awesome!! Your spirit still rises Maya!

  • Emily

    i feel that this poem inspires people to not give up on anything especially their dreams and to learn from all circumstances

  • martha

    We have to create excitement within ourselves in order survive, "Still I Rise" reminds me of that.

  • Henry

    Sad are we left behind to continue the living of Dr. Angelou's fine example. But we are not broken. We too shall rise. I will miss Dr. Angelou's voice, both literally and figuratively speaking. I remember the first time I heard her speak on some television show about this or that. The television screen was not in my line of sight, but I cannot forget that beautiful, commanding, sensitive voice vibrated in my DNA. I am thankful we have many recordings of Dr. Angelou, and, truth be told, whenever I read her poetry or prose, in my head I hear those piercing soulful words in Dr. Angelou's voice. I can't bid her "Rest in Peace, Dr. Maya," because I know in my heart, tonight she is dancing again, full of the joy and ecstasy she wrote, sang and prayed about. So instead, I will humbly say "Thank You Dr. Angelou."

  • PPJ

    Oh woman! Tears full of power welling in my eyes upon listening to your voice recite this expression...because of your words, "I RISE!"

  • Louisa

    May Maya's name be for a amazing woman and admired. Maya you will be missed.

  • Linda

    Her joy, her indominatable spirit, her laughter! Her voice will continue to reverberate in my head...."Does my sassiness upset you?...." Her life and words have enriched us all. Excelsior! Together, we rise.



  • AmandineMandy

    You've been a rainbow in our clouds. RIP Maya Angelou

  • Kare

    I love that she is one of the pioneers of the human potential movement that is helping all humanity RISE from their oppressors.

  • Loni Todoroki

    I did not know that Maya Angelou had gone this past May 28th...and to think my eyes streamed with tears on her poem of Nelson Mandela's passing just months seems are enlightened ones are moving on and yet in honor of Angelou may we all call out "And yet, I rise!!!!!" Thank you Maya Angelou! Streaming tears of life....

  • Sujatha

    I am unable to view the video

  • Elaine Schofield

    What inspired you about this video? so very beautiful inspiring words. Years ago, I did have the opportunity to hear her speak at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. My friend Marilyn and I were so taken back by her message as she discussed her book, "I know why the Cage Bird sings" Her poems and other writings are so impressive filled with her strength, facing adversity,encouraging hope and sharing her incredible wisdom and spirituality. A mighty force from such a humble and divine human being. Her poetry captures so much of her own feelings of love,caring along with inspiring us to re think and reshape our future. An incredible human being will be missed greatly. Thankfully she has left a treasured legacy for all of us to share. Her thoughts,words,strength and encouragement goes far beyond our comprehension. May GOD BlESS this beautiful human being.

  • Nancy

    I didn't go through what Maya went through, but sometimes I wish I would have so that I could be 1/10th of the person she came to be.

  • steve zimmett

    I did not know about this woman. It seems as if when some one as wonderful as she dies we then learn of her greatness.

  • matangi

    I truly believe that each one of us have a divine purpose and she inspired everyone incuding me that came in contact with her book or poems message was bright and clear to look beyond personality of the people and live in spirit of joy and love. universe is full of abundance , don't focus on lack. love u

  • Mansukh

    Maya, you are divinity masquerading as a human being.....I have just heard that you passed away...GO WELL SWEET ANGEL-YOU'RE ON GOLDEN TIME !!!

  • Mish


  • Linda

    Maya Angelou's poem and her reading of it portrays the power of the human spirit to rise against all odds. She is living proof of one's ability to rise. What a role model she has been for me and so many. Thank you, Maya. Rest in Peace.

  • MK

    Empowerment is the new word for Education. Thank you, Maya, for being one of our best and brightest teachers.

  • Jean

    To get up and stand up no matter what it is.

  • kim gardner

    I have been inspired ever since I read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

  • cheyanne

    she is so wonder full and about the civl rights and how people try holding them back

  • Cheryl Spieth Gardiner

    As women, we must be our sassy and sexy authentic selves, using our marvelous voices to speak the truth, whatever that truth may be. It is our right and our privilege to do so. When we intend to 'Be the Change', it is our rather profound responsibility to continually find that voice even when it is scary to do so!

  • Phyllis Mcclain

    Through it all I made it. You just don't know. I made it. Thank God. Dr. Angelou made me realize that I made it.

  • Diana

    Encouragement of rising, despite life's challenges or other's perceptions, full of grace and dignity, full of Self filled in from within. Thank you Dr are one of the rare gems of our 20th and 21st Century, you are my heart mentor and she-ro!

  • Kay Frances Scott

    EVERYTHING about this video inspires me. Thank you, Maya Angelou, thank you. I rise.

  • Julie Cipolla

    Amazing! Dr. Angelou knows from deep in her history and of her people (OUR) people, that we can all RISE from persecution and cruelty, to a new World of Love and Acceptance and Creative Self Expression. I RISE!!!

  • Margaret Ross

    No matter what happens in life, we get up and start again.

  • jackie J E

    Maya Angelou's poem says it and feels it as we all do. We just need reminded every so often that we can rise. This poem helped me today!

  • Julie

    I heard Maya recite this poem in person at Hollins College in Roanoke, VA in 1981 (?) before she was famous, and I knew it was something special. Thanks for bringing back the memory of that profound occasion!

  • Silent


  • Rebecca

    Does my sassyness surprise you? Does my sexiness surprise you? These lines I love the most. Such a fine lady she is. I love her to pieces!!!

  • Ron

    "The Voice" - and the wisdom

  • AJ

    I cry and my heart aches.

  • Phil

    I admire her beauty, her strength of vision, she shows the diamond strength and beauty of her life and person and the truth of the silk purse that can be made of the pigs ear we live through..she has shown me that I have suffered enough to smile and that though for the moment I could not see that truth I knew it for that simplicity I cannot do more or less than say thank you... her strength.

  • Marlow


  • Linda

    Maya Angelous is a magnificent and elegant human being who speaks eloquently and writes poetry that moves the heart. It is amazing how her Spirit comes right through this poem even though it's only a video image.

  • Stephanie

    her smile. her triumph. her joy. the poem is fantastic, but the teller is the story.

  • FourTabbyHouse

    I reached out this early morning for hope,and found it in Maya Angelou.Thank you.

  • Deepak

    Thank you , Inspirational .

  • Gloreycree

    Ms. Angelou always inspires; this particular poem is no exception. She's seen it all - and damn it, she still rises! How can you help but be impressed.

  • Debbie

    Maya's Soul/Spirit

  • rose

    Maya's a gift to all humanity - we are better for have been introduced......

  • Gabrielle Rushing

    Inspirational! "Still I Rise" LOVE YOU! ~*Maya Angelou*~ THANK YOU FOR THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WAS NEEDED FOR ME TO HEAR RIGHT NOW at this moment:)

  • rowan

    I am a better person for hearing this. Thank you.

  • Judith Castañeda

    today I too, rise! thank you Maya for this wonderfull poem

  • Jagdish P Dave

    This heart touching and uplifting poem read by the poet deeply moves me and makes me bonded with the still rising human spirit. What a blessing! Jagdish P Dave

  • Judy Simeone

    I've never heard it before. It is beautiful. My lifes' journey has been for the challenges to help me to rise. Thay are a gift for my spiritual growth. Thank you Great Spirit.

  • Joseph Alphonso

    That one day I will also rise.

  • purvi shah

    its beautiful!!! inspirational!cheers to a great spirit!

  • John Yao Agbetsiafa

    Help me to be like you. My dear mum

  • Katherine

    I have read the poem several times, but it was incredible to hear Maya recite it. It brought new depth for me.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    One of my favorite poems, EVER. So powerful. Wonderful advice for us all. Thank you for sharing.

  • carole

    Fabulously inspirational to hear this read by the poet

  • Tracey

    I have never read this poem, but I adore it. To see it for the first time spoken by it's author was doubly wonderful. What a wonderful piece of prose & what an amazing & wonderful Lady.Thank You

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about the broad experiences and diverse accomplishments that have shaped Maya Angelou’s poetry.
  • Dig into the text of the poem and listen to Ben Harper’s gospel-tinged musical interpretation.
  • Refuse to be catalogued or stereotyped.  Resolve to be more than the world may perceive you to be.  Rise.

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