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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  • Amber Nickens (11/3/2006 5:14:00 PM)

    I thonk this poem is one of the best I heave read when it comes to women. It shows you that you don't have to be a perfect size 2 to be wonderful. Every woman who reads this poem should gain confidence in themselves. I did. And after years of beating myself up because my body wasn't near perfect, I know know that i'm a beautiful woman. A loving woman. In short, a phenomenal woman. (Report) Reply

  • Shaniah Johnson (11/3/2006 9:31:00 AM)

    I would have to disagree with both R.E. Wind and Mr. Hogg.I think this is one of the best poems Maya Angelou has ever written.As a black woman I understand where she is coming from as well as the point that she's trying to get across.I've read this poem may be a million times and to this day I still read it like I've never read it before.So to some this poem isn't memorable but to me it is. (Report) Reply

  • R.E. Wind (11/2/2006 5:21:00 PM)

    I'd have to agree with Mr. Hogg on this one, it's a good poem that gets its message across, however there is no real spark to it that makes it memorable in my opinion. (Report) Reply

  • Not a member No 4 (10/27/2006 3:43:00 PM)

    Good poem, and it's not just about the swing of the hips. It encompasses the glow that comes from within - from high self esteem - but doesn't say a lot about where that comes from. But the top poem on this site? Surely not. Got to swim against the stream here. (Report) Reply

  • Abisola Atta (10/25/2006 12:57:00 PM)

    Even though i havent taken that essential step into womanhood..... (y'all know the step) i feel like a woman, a proud african woman thanks to Mama's beautiful poem. It is so inspirational, I honestly read this every morning. Mama's words are so beautiful and true. 'Men' is another great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Joanna Clevenger (10/8/2006 7:29:00 PM)

    The young girls of today really need to be taught poetry, especially a poem like this. It is true, you don't have to be perfect, just as long as you have the confidence necessary, then perfect or not, you can be who you want to be. (Report) Reply

  • Veronika Freeman (10/4/2006 7:57:00 PM)

    This is a song by Amy Sky, a Canadian singer that sometimes tours with Jim Brickman, who 'discovered' her and sang this song with his headset on while boarding a plane - was quite a sight apparently! go to and buy this lp - you will not be disappointed! I make no money off this sale! I share this with all and have even sang it in public - and I'm not claiming to be a singer - it's just a song you want to give to others! I was in tears by the end of her performance - sitting spellbound six feet from her... You will sing it to the top of your lungs in the car! I know tis is a convoluted posting but I can't express how great it is! (Report) Reply

  • Leah Gully (10/2/2006 2:26:00 PM)

    What a wonderful poem- every woman (and teenage girl) should read it! It's a beautiful way to remind us that confidence and loving yourself make you sexy and vibrant. I'm going to read this every time I'm feeling low about myself. By the way, it's too bad that any women's studies program would want to throw this poem in the garbage. 'Intellectual creatures' have bodies as well as minds, and we need to celebrate both! (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (9/13/2006 10:56:00 AM)

    lovely maya.
    my haiku for you, phenomenal woman -

    sixty year old grandma
    walk tall, insist on stilettos
    even in the coffin, she says (Report) Reply

  • Asanda Qotyana (9/5/2006 4:48:00 AM)

    Of all the poems I've read this is my number one.It makes me smile wanna cry and feel so good about ma self.Maya u're the best (Report) Reply

  • S Imam (9/1/2006 7:17:00 AM)

    This poem has certainly got the swing and the ring of a phenomenal women. May there be many of them. (Report) Reply

  • ***** ********* (8/23/2006 8:17:00 PM)

    This made me smile deeply. Thanks Maya Angelou, you say all there needs to be said about be a phenomenal woman and so exquisitely jauntily it trips down the page too. No wonder it is number one. An amazingly enpowering poem to both sex's. Tai (Report) Reply

  • Samuel Nze (8/18/2006 12:30:00 PM)

    Believe me, one who writes like this indeed is a phenomenal woman - this poem is a masterpiece... anyday. (Report) Reply

  • Ebone' Ingram (8/9/2006 11:25:00 AM)

    Maya Angelou is one of my role models. I love her poetry because she tells it like it is. This is one of my favorites. # 1indeed.

    Eni da kid (Report) Reply

  • Lauren White (7/22/2006 10:48:00 AM)

    I first heard this poem whilst I was watching one of my favourite films; Poetic Justice. As soon as I heard it I loved it. It empowers women and sends a positive message to women with low self-esteem. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Dorn (7/17/2006 10:23:00 AM)

    And, the stroke of your pen and the warmth of your heart... simply 'Phenomenal.' (Report) Reply

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