Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman Essay

Phenomenal Woman Essay

"Phenomenal Woman," by Maya Angelou, describes herself from her own point of view. It shows us her strong self-confidence when expressing the way she feels personally about herself. She may lead us to think that she does believe to be unattractive when she describes in the poem, "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies" (1). "Men themselves have wondered what they see in me" (30). She shows that even though she is not the cute, petite women, she is beautiful and can attract attention in any circumstance.

She is not only speaking for herself but speaking for all women. Women can do or be anything they want if they have the confidence to prove it. In the poem, she introduces to us just that. She tells them what it is about her and they just simply think she's lying.

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. (6-13)

Every action she makes, from the dazzle in her eyes, to the twist in her hips when she walks, shows that she moves about a room like she has complete control. Another place in this poem that shows this is when she says it's "the flash of my teeth...And the joy in my feet" (23-25). She truly shows her happiness, in general, and with who she is. Men have a hard time understanding of what it truly is that stuns them about her. Pretty women have a hard time wondering what it is about her too. She's not cute or skinny like them, so why do guys choose her over the pretty woman? She begins to tell them but they still don't see it. It's the way she stands straight and proud with her bright noticeable smile. She seems like a nice happy person and has a positive outlook on life. Her personality is filled with potential. In other words, there is much more to see then what meets the eyes. In the last stanza she expresses that it is time for them to understand why I don't look down on myself and why I keep my head up or I don't do anything spectacular to get peoples attention? When I pass by you should feel a positive vibe.

I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud. (46-50)

In our society we tend to judge by means of face value. People may only look on the outside and never searching for what may be on the inside. But that will not stop Maya from feeling any different. She helps us come to a realization that actions,...

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Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou is a poet born and raised in America. She has compiled several poems including the Phenomenal Woman which is one of her most acknowledged works (1978). This poem has been praised and criticised in equal measures. However, one thing that the supporters and critics seem to agree on is that Maya Angelou is a phenomenal woman as the poem says. This article also seeks to share some views on this topic.

Before agreeing or disagreeing with the assertion that Angelou is a phenomenal woman, one has to analyse both her life and this poem at the same time. As noted by Kelly Holland (1997), Angelou did not have a very fortunate upbringing. She did not have an opportunity to live with her parents as they had divorced when she was still very young. She lived in an environment characterised by a host of challenges, needless to mention that she was raped at one time. She was a black woman who grew up in America at a time when racism was still the order of the day. It is amazing to see someone with such a background growing up to become a poet and inspire people all over the world. Somehow, that is phenomenal.

Coming to her poem, this is a fascinating way of inspiring women to believe in themselves. As Hagen Lyman says, happiness is one thing that every woman looks for but most of them look for it at a wrong place (1997). Hagen also notes that appreciation is another thing that every woman would ask for but most of them look for it in a wrong way. If there is a woman out there who is wondering how to be happy and fulfilled, she should read this poem and implement it to the letter. It is a manual for unconditional happiness.

In this poem, Maya seems to be enjoying every bit of happiness and appreciation, and models are wondering how she manages all this despite her unattractive figure. People can’t understand why men adore her. But she tells them the secret is simple; self –confidence. She tells them it’s all about how you carry yourself around. How you look at yourself and how you don’t allow people to define you. It is about your personality. People will not define you by how you look but by how you let them define you. In short, according to her poem, we define ourselves.

In conclusion, through this poem, Maya urges women to be in charge of their lives so that everything else falls in place. The poem is an entertaining and educative peace worth reading. Indeed, Maya is a phenomenal woman.

Posted by December 6th, 2016

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