STILL I RISE

Ah well, Easter Sunday. Can't say I enjoyed being on Rob A Mackenzie's blog on Good Friday. A.B. Jackson referred to it as a Feast. Strange choice of words A.B. Cannibalism in Scottish poetry. Whatever next?

MS of Edinburgh - yes - he/she who wanted to stick pencils in his/her eyes - describes how I am, in his/her view, regarded in Scottish poetry circles. That post has been removed by Rob A Mackenzie because MS spoke of me in what even he regarded as overly offensive terms.

But Scottish poetry circles? From the way MS describes them, I can't help but visualise little pools of piranhas. I think I'll just keep to the big ocean, thank you.

A few years back I was at a Film Editing Workshop in Italy. I was having a great time at the bar one night with two black women participants from England. They paid me a compliment I've always treasured. 'You're a black woman, Magi, in a white woman's skin.'

With that in mind, and because it's Easter Sunday, and because her poetry too was referred to on Rob A Mackenzie's blog in less than gIowing terms, I thought I'd post here some of Maya Angelou's 'Still I rise'. And say thank you to all those of you on that bigger Scottish poetry scene for all your emails of concern and support.

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.

Comments

Rachel Fox said…
This poem has been in so many anthologies but I never get tired of reading it again. It has some great lines and such a feeling of power. She can write as many cookbooks and bad poems as she likes - to have written one as powerful as this is what really matters.
Anonymous said…
Hi Magi,

I was being grimly ironic ... perhaps inappropriately so, given the nature of some of the posts -- my apologies.

I agree that the MS post was awful, and reflects badly on their character only, not on yours. I also don't imagine they are representative of any scene, and wouldn't credit them with any significance in the wider scheme of things.

Best,

Andy
magi gibson said…
Hi Andy,

Words are such powerful things. It's so easy to get the wrong end of the stick, it's always better to clarify if there's doubt.

I once wrote, as the final stanza in the sequence, 'psychological kick boxer' the following:

you've got it all wrong, she says
just like you - always grasping
the wrong end of the stick
when all I'm trying to do
is beat you with it

And let's hope - for all our sakes that MS is not representative of any poetry scene in Scotland.

Thanks again. I appreciate you taking time to comment.

Magi
magi gibson said…
Andy,

Sorry! I meant to say thanks too for the apology.

All the best,

Magi
Rob said…
Magi

I see you have comment moderation enabled. I don't actually want you to post this comment on your blog.

You might have misunderstood my comment on my blog requesting an email from you. I don't mean to discuss the original post or other issues regarding it. I think we can come to a solution - to do with the original post and comments - that will be acceptable to you and to me. Send an email to me mackenzie-ra@yahoo.co.uk and you'll see what I mean. But without the email, I can't do much.

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