Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

I was saddened this morning to read of the death of Maya Angelou.  I count her autobiographical novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings among the books that has most deeply affected me (and I've read many, many books in my lifetime), and I have been so moved by many things she has said and written.

Rest in peace, Dr. Angelou.  Thank you for the gifts you bestowed upon us all during your 86 years on this earth.

This poem of hers has always been one of my favorites:

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.

(I found this text here.)

1 comment:

  1. I love that poem. I don't know how anyone can read it aloud and not find themselves a little bit more in love with their body.


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