Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Poetry Analysis: Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

by M. J. Joachim


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.

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
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
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
Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Analysis

You can almost hear the sound of Maya Angelou’s voice ringing out these fine words in epic fashion, with her booming vocalization resonating, echoing and challenging all who attempt to understand. This is the definition of a true woman, the kind of woman that doesn’t need explanation, affirmation or consideration. She stands alone, comfortable in her own skin, regardless of its shape, size or style. She exudes a confidence that cannot and will not be destroyed, despite all obstacles to the contrary, hurdles that would send some ladies heads spinning, as they run the other way.

No! Phenomenal Woman is about the rarest gem, the shiniest diamond - diamond in the rough or not, phenomenal women turn heads, attract attention and are irresistible. They’re a delight to behold, amidst all the pomp, pageantry and circumstance. They are true natural beauties, the kind of women no one can turn away from, and other women, fake, made up ones who put on airs, despise. Because they are real, and real women may not always know how beautiful they are, but they are true treasures the world cannot and should never live without.

To all the phenomenal women I’ve been blessed to know and meet, thank you!

M. J.

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