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What are all the poetic devices in "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou?

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melbel55 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM via web

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What are all the poetic devices in "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou?

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pearlepratt | Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted September 9, 2011 at 6:57 AM (Answer #1)

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The poem, “Still I Rise”, by Maya Angelou, contains a number of poetical devices, including repetition, simile, metaphor, and personification. In addition, the author skillfully employs the use of rhetorical questions to create vivid images of strength and determination.

The consistent rhyme scheme of the poem (lies/rise, gloom/room, hard/yard) offers rhythmic pacing and uniformity. In addition, the figurative language supports the theme of a speaker who is both powerful and secure:  

“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 back yard”

The use of metaphor (“I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide…) strengthens that stance and the use of personification (“You may cut me with your eyes.”) offers vivid imagery of one who is undefeatable, invincible.




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