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Publisher's Summary

Maya Angelou’s unforgettable collection of poetry lends its name to the documentary film about her life, And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.   

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say, It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.   

Thus begins “Phenomenal Woman”, just one of the beloved poems collected here in Maya Angelou’s third book of verse. These poems are powerful, distinctive, and fresh - and, as always, full of the lifting rhythms of love and remembering. And Still I Rise is written from the heart, a celebration of life as only Maya Angelou has discovered it.   

“It is true poetry she is writing,” M. F.K . Fisher has observed, “not just rhythm, the beat, rhymes. I find it very moving and at times beautiful. It has an innate purity about it, unquenchable dignity.... It is astounding, flabbergasting, to recognize it, in all the words I read every day and night...it gives me heart, to hear so clearly the caged bird singing and to understand her notes.”

©1978 Maya Angelou (P)1996 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Her innate rhythm celebrates her verse and offers the poems to listeners as they should be remembered." (AudioFile)

"Vibrant and deep-toned, Angelou's voice wells up from somewhere deep inside." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

What listeners say about And Still I Rise (Unabridged Selections)

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love it

It was truly exceptional listening to her. I will definitely listen to it over and over again

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Incredible!

Huge fan of Maya Angelou. She is inspiring and a true role model. Love this book especially being narrated by the goddess herself.

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Honest and eloquent.

Angelou's ability to be so raw and brave while remaining eloquent amazes me. Life altering.

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a voice hypnotic telling an inspirational life

loved it!
love her voice!
love how she uses words to describe the delicate nature of lifes twists n turns

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  • Barry White
  • 28-05-2014

Nothing compares to hearing the actual author read

Any additional comments?

I heard several readings of these poems on YouTube by students and other people, but NOTHING compares to hearing Dr. Maya Angelou read her own poems. She doesn't just read them, she PERFORMS them. You can hear the drama as she pulls you into the amazing stories that she has captured from her lifetime. You must hear these poems as she reads them. Simply reading them from a book does not compare.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 04-06-2014

Amazing

This is a book of 32 short poems divided into three parts published in 1978 written and read by Maya Angelou. I know Angelou is controversial and her books, plays and poems are banned in many places and like many great poets people either love her or hate her poems. I enjoy her poems not only for the story they tell and the optimism but the rhythm and rhyme. I have books of her poems but particularly enjoyed this audio book because of her beautiful voice reading her own poems. In this book I particularly like the poem “Willie” about her crippled uncle. I also enjoyed the working poems “One More Round” the man’s working poem and “Women’s Work” about women. The poems follow the even number stanzas in the eight stanza poem to create a refrain like those found in many work songs and are variations of many protest poems. Angelou wrote a play in 1976 about discrimination called “Still I Rise” the poem came from the play. It is one of my favorite poems. The opening of the poem is as follows:
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
Comparing how she continuously rises herself up emotionally to stay strong just, like how the moon and sun rise every day no matter what happens. By repeating I rise it makes the words that much more powerful and makes it stand out emphasizing the message which is to stay strong and to never allow anything or anyone stop you from fighting and living strong. The main theme of the poem is discrimination. The poem teaches readers that all humans have strength that lies within us that can help to overcome any obstacle. There is rhyme every other line for most of the poem that immediately guides the reader though the poem I think I will keep this book permanently on my iPod so I listen to it whenever I am in the mood.

27 people found this helpful

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  • A. Williams
  • 05-03-2019

Maya's voice!

It's just as important to hear the poet as read the poems. Her voice and timing is like no other so I'm glad that they were able to get her voice in this recording. This is not the entire collection of poems so of course you're going to read it fast but I truly wish there was a proper one book you could buy 1 audible that would hold a collection of her speaking her own work. It is something you're going to enjoy listening over and over and I'm still trying to find the phenomenal woman poem. My favorite is And Still I Rise for many personal reasons but every one of these poems are like listening to music when read by her so i highly recommend this book in this audio version.

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  • Teri
  • 28-12-2011

Oh my Maya Angelou

What was one of the most memorable moments of And Still I Rise (Unabridged Selections)?

While on active duty in the Navy, my son and I where stationed in Washington, DC we had the experience of a lifetime to be at a

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  • Thomi-Michelle
  • 09-10-2018

just listening brings back memories

she is one of my favorite poets and being her read her own works just brings back memories

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn G. Manuel
  • 10-07-2018

Awesome

A magnificent performance by the Author. Her work is magic and the lyrics are spellbinding. My heart soars when I listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 17-06-2020

She Sings My Songs

I am white but I am black because
My children are.
Mom said God sent me Kailu, my daughter,
Cuz I needed a mom
And she was a self appointed mommy
To me and half the world.
I said I, the Viking pale mom,
Could prove I’m black then
Cuz I have a black mom.
She laughed and said
You’re just crazy, crazy smart Mom.
I’m the black one but also white
As white as the moon at night and
As black as the sky is in its own black light.
I say I can be black cuz it’s an attitude
Not just a color.
Then she died, died too young,
my Daughter Kailu Shola,
God’s Gift of Love
From a massive brain bleed
Burning her brain out
Cuz its light was too bright
But not her mind.
So I live on with her brother who sings the same
Song of blackness, and sometimes of white,
Cuz he claims me as his white mom too.
The same song in different words as a black dad
Of a black son,
Whereas she became the black mom
To children who are white.
High yellow sings their song who pass,
Or not,
As White.
We all sing the song of the ancient ones ...
And the young ones who holler
My race is human
Both black AND white
Not one or not the other
But choosing the ones they love
With love not superseded
By degrees of melanin.



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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-01-2019

Timeless Messenger of Courage and Love

I had previously read many of these poems, some countless times throughout the years, and it still amazes me that something new resinates so deeply & profoundly each time I her speak her truths. Remarkable doesn’t even begin to do her justice.

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  • Amahra
  • 05-11-2018

My favorite poem of all time!

I love this poem. It speaks to the soul of my generation of Sitting on the back of the bus, no sitting down at lunch counters, and leaving my neighborhood to attend high school because the one in my neighborhood were for Whites Only. But we're not bitter because Still I Rise. God bless her. What a great poet.

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  • Janet R
  • 12-08-2018

You hear her soul

Breathtaking performance! To listen to Maya Angelou herself perform this is to listen to her beautiful soul 💕

2 people found this helpful

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  • GP88
  • 19-11-2020

Relevant today

Wonderful collection of poems. Speaking wisely and truthfully of love, loneliness & the reality and legacy of slavery, Thankyou Maye Angelou

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-10-2020

excellent

Maya Angelou is every thing a poet should be. I love her use of words.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-10-2020

Interesting poems

I do enjoy listening to black women express themselves, you can relate to experience a lot.

Some poems I didn’t understand but I think that’s something I would have to explore with someone else.

Performance wasn’t appealing to myself personal preference but I still understood and she will always be one of my favourite poets.

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  • Husnaa
  • 07-07-2018

lovely to listen too whilst on the beach.

it has inspired me to continue wrting my one women show to encourage women who have been abused, but still we rise x

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  • tattyheid
  • 21-06-2018

What's not to love

A glorious talented woman. We will not see her like again. Recommend her other works.

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  • Hummingbird
  • 06-07-2017

The Greatest

Maya Angelou UPLIFTS me. Because of her I too am a PHENOMENAL WOMAN.
Excellent work!

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  • Dee Whyman
  • 30-12-2014

marvelous

I enjoy listening to Maya's voice as an inspiration to carry on in my life struggles.

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  • Tools26
  • 29-12-2014

Beautiful

These are beautiful poems. They are wonderfully read by a great author. My favourite will always be 'And Still I Rise'.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TheZee
  • 19-12-2012

Maya Angelou as classic as ever...

Famous though this poem is, I never tire of hearing it. This volume is as rich as the first time. I am empowered and emboldened by the words of a poet who knows how to raise the broken spirit. And still I rise.

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  • Jacqui Hastings
  • 09-03-2019

Simple great.

Simple one of the great books of our time. a must read for all adults and children alike.

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