Treasure Island

Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Phenomenal Woman


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,
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  • Bill Shirk (1/23/2014 2:09:00 PM)

    It seems to say that being a woman is about attracting men (maybe it is) . I have never seen her, but I would bet she is fairly unattractive physically in the conventional sense and that her viewpoint originates in feelings of inferiority; I think she misses the point of what being phenomenal is all about. I think she has been much over rated as a poet, riding the great coattails of feminism. (Report) Reply

  • Edna Wande (1/22/2014 7:05:00 AM)

    Dis is jst perfect, wat hv bin searching for, a perfect description for a real woman (Report) Reply

  • Ally Davies (1/10/2014 1:03:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou's poems are best appreciated when read out loud or performed. Always inspiring. (Report) Reply

  • Terri Lowe (1/5/2014 4:10:00 PM)

    Beautiful outlook. This is a poem to come back to on a day when someone or something has made you feel less than what you are! A phenomenal woman! (Report) Reply

  • Donna Nimmo (1/1/2014 7:05:00 AM)

    I loved this. All women are not ladies, but those who are carry themselves in a certain way. She carries her self with dignity and self assurance. And if she is beautiful maybe even head a little higher, but with dignity. Hugs, Donna (Report) Reply

  • Donna Nimmo (1/1/2014 7:01:00 AM)

    I loved it and understood so well. A lady carries herself a certai way with dignity and self assurance. not all women are ladies and don't know how to be one. Hugs, Donna (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Mousa (12/23/2013 10:30:00 AM)

    From the very beginning of the poem, the poet conveys to us that her attractiveness isn't attributed to her external beauty. I think she haughtily addresses the pretty woman in an overconfident tone telling her that your superficial beauty isn't everything that men seek for; there are also other internal attributes and propensities that make the woman beautiful. As to the poet, she has something powerful inside her that makes men fly around her like A hive of honey bees. It is the fire in her eyes, the flash of her white teeth, the grace of her manner that, that is, things that indicate the beauty of her spirit, which make her appealing to men. Finally, the repetition of Phenomenally/ Phenomenal woman/ That's me. suggests the self-centered orientation of the poem, a thing that emphasizes the proud tone of it. (Report) Reply

  • Poppy Williams (12/16/2013 2:29:00 PM)

    If you think this poem is superficial or strange you obviously have not met a woman who people are unusually drawn too. Those magical charismatic woman who exude contagious energy. This energy comes from being authentically and unapologetically themselves which is why the author points to the individual characteristics of her being. Accepting yourself exudes an attractiveness that surpasses the exterior. This energy is not restricted to just woman, although this poem is specifically written about one. There are of course men who also carry confidence in themselves regardless of whether they are handsome or not fitting into societies idea of aesthetically appealing. That confidence is what attract others most of all which is why no-one can quite put their finger on what makes a phenomenal woman (or man) so appealing. They search for a solid answer but energy and self acceptance are not physically visible features, instead they are an intangible yet powerful force felt by all. (Report) Reply

  • Wahab Abdul (12/12/2013 12:20:00 AM)

    “Phenomenal Woman” is one of the powerful poems that represents the rise of hope and pride of a woman (especially African-American woman) despite the abuse, torture and neglect she has experienced. Instead of being ashamed or guilty or blaming herself, she has gained the hope and strength, which makes her the “Phenomenal Woman”. This is one self-confident woman with exceptionally strong compelling persona and very high self-esteem, who loves herself in spite of the discrimination and the exploitation from society and people. The poem uses a special and repetitious pattern in each stanza, e.g. the stanza begins with a description of society’s reaction to the woman as they notice her. These reactions are all categorized by wonderment about the vivacious woman, why she is so happy and what others see in her. Ms. Angelou expresses her feeling of a hidden frustration and anger at the society who questions the subject’s self-confidence and strength. (Report) Reply

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