Woman Phenomenal: Maya Angelou

I have known about Maya Angelou. Seen her in movies and how she has been honored around the world. However and with my head hung low in shame, that was really most of what I knew of her. Until I realized some time back that she wrote the poem “Phenomenal Woman”. It’s really funny how I got to know the poem. It was recited by Alfre Woodward’s character,”Ms. Josephine” in the movie The Beauty Shop” and I thought “oh, that is an awesome thing she said.” Only for google to correct me later. It is one poem that I enjoy. Even with all that she went through in her life, the struggles she faced, the titles she carried, she still had that sense of self worth and value in which she could call herself  phenomenal.

Although it is a piece that gives strength, it is also a piece that reminds that I still have a long way to go before I can even consider myself a writer. It is kind of pathetic that I haven’t exposed myself to more of her works being that I have a blog and to blog is to write and to write is to have expose yourself to many brilliant works of others who have been ahead of you, who have seen it all before you and have made an impact in the world of ink for you.

So, in my own little way of honoring her and keeping my ink flowing, here is “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.dr-maya-angelou-2
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
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Men themselves have wondered   103146-maya_angelou_
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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