Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Women, rise

Two poems l return to time and again...they are sustaining, their essence lives on...

Woman Work

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll 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 back yard.

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.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

....if you want more, here is Ms Angelou herself


  1. Love those poems, they are for all women everywhere I think.

  2. Excellent ..

    The first reminds me of Peggy Lee's Cause I'm a Woman W O M A N ...

  3. Sax, I only just took down a piece about the Sisterhood yesterday - It will now post later next week - It is incredible how our minds converge, my pet. So sorry to hear about your darling - Grizz is still coughing like a life-long smoker and hubby and I are not even out of bed today!

    This bug seems to extend itself horribly, and I'm supposed to be going to Wembley on Sat to see my adored Stevie!!!

    I'd suggest you put your feet up (between mopping your dahlink's brow) and chill with some herbal tea - The house can wait! Don't worry too much, and really hope to be organized and well enough to sort out a trip to see you once all this is past... Much love, and now breathe... xxx

  4. ...and typing one-fingered from the sick-bed is not good - 'Sax'! Sorry, Saz... Mwah!

  5. Saz,

    I'm very familiar with her poems. Very powerful. I think many of us can relate to the message. Always so much to do. We become worn out and, somehow, we must rejuvenate ourselves to continue on.

    I agree with WONI, kick your feet up for a while. The work will wait. Trust me when I say, it will be there when you get back from your long deserved break. Do something for yourself, something to make you feel good. Do it more than once!

    Take care of yourself...we are are all here for you! Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!

  6. Hi Greetings:)

    Beautiful poems. Excellent tribute to the indomitable will of women who will rise in spite of the trials, tribulations and hardships imposed on them by society. One of the most envied roles they perform is as a Mother. A mother will do anything for her children. The sacrifices mothers make is something incomprehensible and beyond understanding.

    I enjoyed the video also. Maya Angelou is an amazing lady. Many thanks for sharing.

    Have a wonderful day:)

  7. This is what the interwebs are for.

    I feel up lifted. Great post Saz.

  8. Sara Ann, my pride in you knows no bounds, my love for you grows more than I ever thought possible,and to think 'twas I that made you. Remember this?

    For Sara:1958

    The old house creaks, sluggishly,
    Like most of its inhabitants it is well past its prime
    though you are younger than spinning time.
    The window of my tiny room is open
    and the scent is of the sea, and grass cuttings and earth after summer rain.
    I lie on my narrow bed and we talk.
    We have each other, after all.

  9. Thank you for bringing my attention to them. I had not heard them before. Very moving.

  10. I love Maya Angelou - I first met her when I read her for the poetry section of my GCE English Literature - what a treat. Thank you for reminding me.

  11. Thanks for both poems. I didn't know of the first one. Both poignant and telling of women, of the burden some of our sisters have carried for centuries.

  12. I didn't know the first one, either, but I love it. So simplistic, yet it pretty much tells all our stories, doesn't it?

  13. ALWAYS loved these poems. Just found your site and will be following. I am so glad I stumbled in here.

  14. Great summations, both of them. Nice choice, Sazfab.

  15. those are fantastic poems. full of power and grace. thanks for sharing.

  16. I love, love, love Maya Angelou! I had the good fortune to hear her speak at a local university many years ago. Her voice just booms - bringing to life her incredible poetry.

  17. Maya Angelou's poems are always an inspiration and, anytime I need a kick in the pants, I start reading them...I seem to need a kick more and more often these days!


Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x