The Use of Literary Devices in the Poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

In Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise”, she expresses her feeling about how people treat other people. Angelou’s poem epitomizes hope. When hard times come, smile. Whenever you fall, get back up and when you think all is going wrong, “rise”(32), against it!

Angelou uses a grand variety of literary devices. She uses repetition, to show that “Still I’ll rise” (12), signifying that whatever she goes through she will still have confidence. Symbolism of “I rise” (30), because rise means, literally to stand up, but in the poem it means to “rise” (43), in how you feel that no matter what you can always get up again.

Hyperboles are an important literary device to this poem. ” You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise” (21-24). This shows the judgment people have for others.

With the help of the literary devices, the poem has more depth.

Angelou uses many devices to really emphasize certain areas in the poem. For example, “I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide”(33-34), just these two lines have many literary devices. “I’m a black ocean” (33), is a metaphor, meaning that the narrator had a rough life like a black ocean. The words “wide” (33) and “tide” (34), are rhyming. “Welling and swelling” (34) is an example of consonance because they both have the -elling sound. Overall, Angelou really concentrated on the literary devices, so others could really feel the poem and understand the narrator’s pain.

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The Use of Literary Devices in the Poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. (2023, Feb 13). Retrieved from

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