What is the imagery in "Still I Rise"?

The imagery in "Still I Rise" is, for the most part, visual in nature, as it describes things that we might see or could imagine seeing: things like oil wells, sad and slumped-over people, dark oceans, or bright sunrises.

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The imagery in "Still I Rise" is largely visual. This means that it describes how things look or objects that we might take in with our sense of sight (rather than our any of our other senses). In the second stanza, the speaker claims, "I walk like I've got oil wells / Pumping in my living room." This is figurative, of course, as she does not actually have oil wells in her living room, but the imagery is quite clear and allows us to conjure up an almost amusing mental picture of such a scene in our heads.

In the fourth stanza, she asks her audience if they want to "see [her] broken" with "Bowed head and lowered eyes," and this creates another visual image of a person whose slumped body language conveys their sadness and suffering. We can see them in our mind's eye as a result of this vivid description.

In the seventh and penultimate stanza, the speaker compares herself to a "black ocean, leaping and wide," and this is also a vivid visual image. We can certainly imagine how a huge black-hued ocean that fills the horizon, with waves that seem to leap up powerfully from its surface, would look. Finally, in the last stanza, the narrator says that she is rising "Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear," and this is yet another visual image of a cloudless sunrise after a pitch-dark night.

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