What Are The Metaphors In 'Still I Rise'?


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Robin Burden answered
An example of a metaphor in the poem I Will Rise, by Maya Angelou can be found in the following lines:

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Metaphors in 'I will rise' by Maya Angelou
In the passage above, Maya Angelou describes herself (or the narrator) as having been through a rough or difficult time, and does so by comparing the problems she's had to overcome to the image of a stormy and vast ocean.

However, the poem 'I will rise' is rather dangerous, as it might prompt the reader to interpret a lot of the comparative imagery used as a form of metaphor when, in actual fact, Angelou actually employs far more similes than metaphors.

(A simile is a comparison between two different concepts that uses the word 'like' or 'as'.)

For example, the metaphor "I'm a black ocean" could be transformed into a simile by inserting the word like: "I'm like a black ocean".
Just to prove how extensive the use of similes is in the poem, here are a couple of examples that I picked up on:

  • I walk like I've got oil wells.
  • Pumping in my living room.
    Just like moons and like suns.
  • Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
  • 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines.

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