10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (I)

Hello there! This is our first in a series of ten of the most famous poems in the English literature that we are publishing to celebrate World Book Day. We hope you enjoy this powerful poem and the related quick fact.

Poet: Maya Angelou

Published: 1978



You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.


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.

Click here to read the whole poem and here to read more about this brave woman. We also love this video about Maya Angelou from the Peabody awards.

Quick fact:

In 1994, Nelson Mandela recited this poem at his presidential inauguration. Still I Rise is perhaps the most famous poem written by an African American and it has been called a “proud, even defiant statement on behalf of all Black people”.

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