Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Phenomenal Woman

Some of my fellow bloggers are poets, many of them are women, a lot of them are courageous, and some of them are cancer survivors. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I want to share a beautiful poem by Maya Angelou.

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,
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 of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Maya Angelou


  1. I LOVE this poem. I read it when I start complaining about my hips... to remind myself it's about confidence and being comfortable in my skin as a woman! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. A most powerful wonderful poem in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!! Lovely, thank you for sharing! Take care

  3. Hi Raquel,
    Oh, so happy you enjoyed the poem. I love it, too! ;)

    Hi Jennifer,
    Yes, powerful indeed. Women are strong and courageous creatures ;)

  4. Enjoyed this post, and the poem.

    I try to support breast cancer funding because friends of mine have contracted the disease. Early detection helped locate the problem, and these women are survivors.

  5. I too think women are phenomenal - and they can probably spell better than me. But the poem left me cold. That might be because I've just finished reading a host of interwar pulp novels where exactly the same sentiments were hyperboled about men - usually detectives women found irresistible. So my mind is ultra sensitive to gender boasting. I'm just sharing thoughts that are not necessarily true - which is what a good blog post should engender :)

  6. Hi D.G.,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. I've become more aware of breast cancer because I know people that have gone through it. It's a terrible disease. Support from friends and family is key in the process to recovery (or any stage of it).
    Thank you for your comment.

    Hi Mike,
    I chose this poem because I think it's powerful. I think women are emotionally and mentally strong (Note, I am not a feminist). I say this because most of the women I've met in my life have endured strenuous circumstances and they have handled it gracefully and courageously. I think poems evoke sentiments and feelings, that unlike fiction, tell the truth.

  7. Thanks for posting this poem.
    The daily underlying stress faced by so many cancer patients is a darkened mirror I wish no one would ever have to face.

  8. The poem by Maya Angelou shows a kind of confidence many women unfortunately don't have. This is more and more evident as the frontiers of plastic surgery for esthetic purposes move further.
    Thanks for sharing this poem. It is a strong praise to womanhood. And a well deserved one.

  9. Hi Carol,
    You're welcome!

    Hi Royce,
    Thank you for dropping by and sharing your comment.

    Hi Jacopo,
    You couldn't have said it better. A praise to womanhood no matter who she is. Well said. ;)