Thursday, April 2, 2015

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

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
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   
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.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)


Becca said...

This is one of my top 5 favorite poems.

Nadia said...

Becca, me too!

Lark said...

What an amazing poem! Thanks for posting it. If I was better at memorizing poems, this would be one that I'd want to know by heart.

Nadia said...

Lark, it is amazing!! :)

Vintage Reading said...

Love this. Heard it on the radio soon after Angelou died and though what a wonderful poem it was. Thanks for the reminder.

Nadia said...

Vintage Reading, it is a wonderful poem :) I need to read more Angelou!