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Phenomenal Woman Analysis



Author: Poetry of Maya Angelou Type: Poetry Views: 4627

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
Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
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

Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I think this poem is great! It expresses that the speaker is confident and it doesn't matter what you look like, if you're skinny as long as your happy

| Posted on 2013-10-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Before shooting personal opinions from the hip, so to speak, it helps to do a little basic research. Look up the word \"phenomenal.\" It doesn\'t just mean \"spectacular\" or \"special.\" It also means \"perceptible by the senses/immediate experience.\" Ironically, the poem is the OPPOSITE of expressing only inner but not outer beauty. It\'s saying that her inner beauty and energy IS DIRECTLY EXPRESSED THROUGH her \"phenomena\"/sensory gesture-- body angle, waist swing, fiery eyes, etc. which aren\'t conventional markers of Barbie-Doll beauty.All the ways she\'s \"phenomenal\" are physical manifestations of a unique soul. They are more sensory indicators of spirit and connection to others than they are passive, objectifying qualities of traditional male poems about women (lips like cherries, breasts like hills of snow)--it\'s the ANGLE and movement of body parts, directed by her, that are compelling to others. Get it?

| Posted on 2012-01-15 | by a guest


.: :.

It really talks abou accepting yourself how you are because God created you in his own image. Maya is full of expression in every gesture.

| Posted on 2011-11-24 | by a guest


.: :.

I loved this poem and I think it should be available for all to read. This is a master piece that is spoken clearly and directly. Maya focuses on the power of herself as a woman and her inner beauty and grace as well as her physical appearance. All can relate to this poem.

| Posted on 2011-11-13 | by a guest


.: :.

MAYA IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST POETS IN THE WORLD WHOSE POEMS ARE STUDIED IN THE UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE WORLD. NOTHING CAN BE TAKEN FROM HER. LOVE HER SO MUCH.

| Posted on 2011-07-18 | by a guest


.: :.

MAYA IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST POETS IN THE WORLD WHOSE POEMS ARE STUDIED IN THE UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE WORLD. NOTHING CAN BE TAKEN FROM HER. LOVE HER SO MUCH.

| Posted on 2011-07-18 | by a guest


.: :.

Mysz.Topiic Of Diiscussiion!~!~!~!
2 Metrophobic me:qurl yhu iiz truely dum...liike yeah...how kan yhu just be dhat bored and mad at sumbodii else 4 who yhu turned out 2 b 2 just siit on dha enternet and tlk about ppl r Maya Angelou\'z wriiten liike yhu just so TOP NOTCH???? well sweetiie i qot news 4 yhu....YHU NOT so kiill dhat noiise and qo siit dwn sumwhere!!!! qet URSELF str8 and make sho yhu qud b4 yhu just kum siit up here and tlk about sumbodii else sweetheart. ii thiink Maya Angelou diid her thiinq and yhu just mad bcuz yhu wiill neva b on her level. well thiis has been qreat but ii hve 2 qo....MWAH MWAH ILY! :)

| Posted on 2011-05-09 | by a guest


.: :.

i must agree that this poem is quite empowering has oodles of emotion but it lacks ambiguity that poems should posses. it lacks the eloquence and artistry. it was too direct. it was more like a speech. but the content, the message, and the effect is great

| Posted on 2010-08-17 | by a guest


.: :.

this is the best poem i have ever read
a peice of art that must be remembered
i have it framed in my place of sleep
for all to see when comming to visit
i hope METEMORBIC finds a life somewhere in the place that she cvLWSBHJXCBJKDFNJKGBDVKL XCKJGNCFJBZXNKLVIN

| Posted on 2010-05-20 | by a guest


.: :.

i feel this poem expresses what every woman wishes she could feel..Maya is telling the world that yes she has imperfections but she is still beautiful inside and out no matter what anyone says..

| Posted on 2010-04-29 | by a guest


.: :.

Why everybody be hating on Metrophobic Me? They just expressing their opinions okay? That was a personal analysis and its how they feel about the poem. Nobody is expressing their anger to you on how you feel or what you wrote. Honestly, there are like 15 messages directed against Metrophobic. You people arent focusing on Maya Angelou (which is what this page is for, mind you), you are just belittling people's ideas. Is that really necessary?

| Posted on 2010-04-20 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is really amazing and it can help a lady in self douvt realise that she is beautiful no matter what people say, but she must realize it even when no one else wil!!

| Posted on 2010-03-06 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is far too lucid, and her complete exaggeration and saturation over the way she sees herself completely negates the intended message of empowering feminine spirit. It's more a window to her arrogance than anything else - her use of refrain is bloody irritating and she can't be said to have much of a command of language based on this poem.
Her other stuff isn't any better in my honest opinion. She doesn't seem to have a concept of poetic flow or hidden meaning. Listening to a your average street preacher isn't much of a difference - Angelou just smothers the reader with a total lack of subtlety. Just generally too "preachy" for my taste all in all.
She's untouchable in literary circles though, on account of her own past, which, while remarkable in itself, shouldn't be leant upon the way it is.

| Posted on 2010-01-28 | by a guest


.: :.

Peaches; I loved this poem. To me i thought she was trying to show everyone in the world how much she respected and loved herself, which women today really need to have for themselves. The poem was amazing i just wanted to add a little comment to express my thoughts.

| Posted on 2010-01-10 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about power, not sex or men. There's only one part about being powerful with men, there are 3 others just about being a woman. It's stupid to think that women only care about being a certain way for men. Women spend more time trying to impress other women than trying to impress men; that's because women spend most of their time comparing themselves to other women. The power comes from her ability to be powerful because she is CONFIDENT in herself. The physical things she lists are powerful just because she's a woman, that's what's so phenomenal, but the fact that she KNOWS and EXPRESSES that shows that she's confident. Her step, her arms, the palm of her hand, walking "just as cool as you please" are powerful because they exude confidence and pride in being a woman. I've known some women who aren't pretty, or very nice, or overly interesting or entertaining, and they have men swarming them. Why? Because these women don't spend their time trying to exist for men, they just have pride and confidence in the great simplicity of themselves. A phenomenal woman is one who sees herself as phenomenal, and lets it seep from her pores.

| Posted on 2009-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem was awesome. I think that Metrophobic me do not have nothing else to do, just say stupid things to important writters like Maya. I Methophobic me needs a man that could entertein her in better things than writting stupid comments in the internet. Excuse her Maya.

| Posted on 2009-11-11 | by a guest


.: :.

To Metrophobic Me:
I can see where you are coming from, but it is way too technical. Obviously u do not understand the message she is trying to portray. And to say that Maya Angelou has not idea what she is talking about is ridiculous. When you can speak 5 languages and are a poet, historian, author,actress, playwright, civil rights activist, producer, director, and OPRAH'S HERO, you can tell me that she doesn't know what she is talking about. Oh and the rest of you guys, be nice. There is no need to call this person ugly or stupid. They are just expressing their opinion, no matter how misguided it is.

| Posted on 2009-09-15 | by a guest


.: :.

whoever METRAPHOBIC ME is you shud back off and get a life you dont know what your talking about you probably just waste your life posting insults not comments about poems and their poet so seriously go get a LIFE!

| Posted on 2009-07-23 | by a guest


.: :.

THIS IS A SPECTACULAR PIECE OF ART. MAYA ANGELOU YOU MY GURL 4EVA! LADIES...WE NEED TO STICK TOGETHER THROUGH THICK AND THIN! PRAISE TO THE ALMIGHTY LORD IN THE HEAVENS FOR MAKING SUCH A WONDERFUL WRITER!! LUV YOU ALL!!
LOVE X0X0,
SUGA & SPICE

| Posted on 2009-03-16 | by a guest


.: :.

March 8, 2009, this poem is an moral eye opener. If you want the truth about oneself, read this poem slow and implement your name where and when needed. You will commence the meaning of 'know thyself and do something about it. Thank you, Maya Angelo

| Posted on 2009-03-09 | by a guest


.: :.

to metaphoric me.
First of all, THIS IS AN AMAZING POEM!!! you would understand that if you weren't so negative about your self image. It takes a real woman to be loved by a great man, as well as yourself, so what does that make you???? ya you get my drift. Maya anagelou made a great point in this poem and it should be an unwritten rule that woman live by. you don't have to make yourself a man slave you need to make your self INDEPENDANT! so your dumb, simply put. like the other person said, go get counciling for yourself, you never know they might give you some great medicine so you can feel "normal" . sorry you have major defects when it comes to men, hope that you learn from your mistakes and start loving yourself

| Posted on 2009-03-05 | by a guest


.: :.

this is a wonderful poem love it to death and live by her words!

| Posted on 2009-03-05 | by a guest


.: :.

OMGosh!!! This poem is really good it demonstrates how a women needs self image to not only to empower herself but others and how they may feel about her... Angelou is such a talented writer.
::...LHS 9th

| Posted on 2009-01-16 | by a guest


.: :.

OMGosh!!! This poem is really good it demonstrates how a women needs self image to not only to empower herself but others and how they may feel about her... Angelou is such a talented writer.
::...LHS 9th

| Posted on 2009-01-16 | by a guest


.: :.

Phenomenal Woman is an empowering poem that is proof all woman need to be successful in life is a sense of self worth and pride in there capabilities. Every woman should be confident in who they are. All beings are equal in their value on this planet. Women have no need to feel inferior to men because our role on this earth has the same significance as theirs. There is no shame in being comfortable with you and being confident does not mean a person is pompous. This poem states that just being you is all a woman needs to do to be attractive and alluring to men.

| Posted on 2008-12-16 | by a guest


.: :.

oooh say can you see, by the dawms early light, for the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming AND THE ROCKETS RED GLARE, the bombs bursting in da ayerr, gave proof the night that our flag was still there, OH say doesn that star spangled baner yet wwwaaayhave for the land of the FRE amd the home of the BRAVE.
KTHNXDIE
you know you love me,
xoxo
GOSSIPGRRRL

| Posted on 2008-12-11 | by a guest


.: :.

"it tells that women are very independent and and don't need men in their lives"
That is not whats written actually, the phenomenal women there, is all about alluring men or about how men think how phenomenal they are(because of the woman's allure).

| Posted on 2008-11-17 | by a guest


.: :.

I love this poem, it tells that women are very independent and and don't need men in their lives so ladies if you are doing good in life keep going and if you are confused and lost pray to GOD. LADIES STICK TOGETHER AND BE STRONG. GOD IS ALWAYS WATCHING.


2008-11-14 by:LIL BIT

| Posted on 2008-11-15 | by a guest


.: :.

i believe that this poem is a uplifter for women and it says that we are powerful and can be with or without a man . they dont need us to do everything for them . they cab be independent too . but i do love this poem and i am proud of Maya Angelo for comming up with a great poem like this.

| Posted on 2008-11-13 | by a guest


.: :.

Edit: Correction
"If Women really want Equality then they SHOULD NOT act/think like they are inferior. Women can be independent too you know just like men are?"

| Posted on 2008-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

to the person above or probably below me now.
I'm not "metrophobic me" what made you think that way?
1st: "She's saying that you don't need to be "willing" and stupid to get a man." i already thought of that.
2nd: "But isn't it sad that our "purpose" is to content men??"
Where did you get that idea? Is that a fact? -what's sad is that your a woman and you think that way. [btw purpose is something you think about, its not neccesarily given or predetermined)
I don't think women need men to become phenomenal.
Men as phenomenal or great aren't defined by how much women he can get. so why do women now think like that? Why can't they be both that does not rely on sexism?
Probably its because you've gotten used to the fact that men are considered superior or that women are the "damsel in distress".
I think it's pathetic actually [for both men and women].
If Women really want Equality then they should act/think like they are inferior. Women can be independent too you know just like men are?

| Posted on 2008-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

I L-O-V-E this poem, is one of my favorite ones. so don't get me wrong when I say this.
to all the girls who are against(metrophobic me) in what he said.
Don't you think that it is sweet and not jerk(like someone said) that a guy actually thinks that girls are more than just a s.ex toy?? It requires some maturity. seriously i've dealed with some guys that made wish I was ugly.
it is actually true what (metrophobic me) said. is it the only way for us, women, to be phenomal by "bending men into thier knees"?? It could be due to how smart we are or how pretty. But isn't it sad that our "purpose" is to content men??
think about it
and a message to (metrophobic me) the poem is NOT saying that she is phenomenal BECAUSE she "bends men into their knees". She's saying that you don't need to be "willing" and stupid to get a man.
think about that too

| Posted on 2008-10-17 | by a guest


.: :.

ok, this is a good poem for women but i think there's a bad side of it.
True, it promotes confidence and that "inner beauty" can bend a man's knees.
I think at some point it says that women are phenomenal based on what others[men] perceive them. I mean do Women need to bend a man's knees to become phenomenal or Is Phenomenal defined as the "Desire of All Men"

| Posted on 2008-10-13 | by a guest


.: :.

THIS IS TO (Metrophobic Me) I THIN YOU ARE A PHSYCO PATH AND YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO DO BUT LOOK STUPID ON THE INTERNET I DONT CARE WHAT YOU SAY MAYA ANGELOU IS PHENOMENAL WOMAN AND YOU CAN BE A WOMAN OR MAN PHENOMENALLY

| Posted on 2008-09-29 | by a guest


.: :.

even though am young, i related to this poem well, bacuse as a tennager we feel this way and so we need poems like this to make as feel beautiful again and keep in mind that we'll always be beautiful in our own way.

| Posted on 2008-06-09 | by a guest


.: Who Cares! :.

To Metrophobic Me: You are ridiculous and ugly. You are not beautiful. You don't relate to this poem because you are jealous of not being able to feel beautiful like all the others. You are an unhappy person who is mad at the world 'cause many don't appreciate you or think you are phenomonal. Don't be mad just because people don't come on to you. Sorry that you're ugly and don't relate to this poem. So, go find a poem you can relate to such as "Ugly Woman" and then tell all the good things that you think about it. Mmm...kay grumpy buns? Have a nice life and ah, yeah don't go do anything stupid 'cause you're in a feeling of depression. Go get some counseling and start feeling pretty for ONCE!

| Posted on 2008-05-26 | by a guest


.: All Yall :.

To Metrophobic Me: You are ridiculous and ugly. You are not beautiful. You don't relate to this poem because you are jealous of not being able to feel beautiful like all the others. You are an unhappy person who is mad at the world 'cause many don't appreciate you or think you are phenomonal. Don't be mad just because people don't come on to you. Sorry that you're ugly and don't relate to this poem. So, go find a poem you can relate to such as "Ugly Woman" and then tell all the good things that you think about it. Mmm...kay grumpy buns? Have a nice life and ah, yeah don't go do anything stupid 'cause you're in a feeling of depression. Go get some counseling and start feeling pretty for ONCE!

| Posted on 2008-05-26 | by a guest


.: moron. :.

Metrophobic Me,
"This woman" is an extremely well renowned poet. She is very knowledgable on her subject, and it is obviously you who doesn't know what you're talking about. And you spelt "their" incorrectly. Join an English class, and don't come back untill you've learned something.

| Posted on 2008-05-13 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that Maya Angelou is a great writer and this poem is a great show of how all a woman needs is self confidence in order to be phenomenal.
Metrophobic Me: You are probably an arrogant jerk.

| Posted on 2008-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

i really connected to this poem because i sometimes have a hard time knowing that random people will fall for me. this poem really boosts your self confidence.

| Posted on 2008-04-27 | by a guest




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