Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Morning Poetry

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

The incredible woodcut poster above is by Jennifer Ewing and was a part of an undergraduate art exhibition in 2008. Click here for more information.


Char said...

i've always loved that poem!

Kelli said...

I have never before read this poem and I am so happy that I stopped in here this morning. This just made my day! It is difficult for me to explain how important words are to me at times, but I will say this: I NEEDED that this morning. :) Thank you, phenomenal woman!

Jo said...

Brilliant! Never read this before and i love it. Fantastic poster too by Jennifer. Stunning.

Happy Sunday.


Tracy said...

What a great poem, Relyn! Have a happy Sunday!

suzyQ said...

i love maya angelou! she is such an inspiration.

my blog is alive and kickin' again so i would love for you to stop by! i will be back here really soon.

Marilyn said...

A good one, Relyn! I have always liked it. Oh to have that confidence and approach life with my head held high.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I've never read that one before!
Well, that's going in my little collection of delicious things book!!!!!!
Sitting up a little higher in my chair...thanks for the extra spark in my sparkle today!

summersundays-jw said...

Katie sent me over & I'm so glad I came. I love that poem. Thanks! Jan

HKatz said...

I think I first read this poem in high school, at a time when I really needed to read something like this. It's great for women to read this - but especially young girls in junior high, high school who are still spending a lot of time figuring out what it is to be themselves when all around them they get the message that they're not pretty enough, not thin enough, not glamorous enough, not enough, period. Not enough of anything.

Hold your head up high, girls. Be good, feel good, and love yourself.

Suz said...

oh such a good one
but of course they are all good
just fit some better than others
love to you and yours always
have a great week

elizabeth said...

I first heard this when I saw her at an outdoor concert in Golden Gate Park. She sang this during her set. Still remember it. I bought the album immediately after.

Amy said...

What a great woodcut--I love it!

Suvarna said...

Oh yes! Celebrate!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I have heard this and love it. Thank you for the reminder.

Oliag said...

I had an opportunity to hear Maya Angelou recite her poetry in person...this poem was unforgettable in her own voice...when I read it now I can still hear her...

Gigi said...

Oh, yes! This is one I've shared with many women. LOVE it. Love hearing her read it, too. Thanks for sharing it, girlfriend of mine! xo

Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

This is the only calling card a lady might need! Glad I've seen it.

Vickie said...

OMG! I was scrolling through looking for the blog swap thingy and I saw this poem! One of my all time favorites! I recorded my voice reading this poem for a class project and my professor asked me for my presentation/skit.. I love, love this poem. Thank you for making me smile!

Jeanie said...

PERFECT poem! I love it!

Jaime said...

Maya Angelou is the kind of woman that makes you stand a little taller. A powerful woman she is.

Tricia said...

what an incredible poem! relyn, you have such a way of finding the perfect poem to share at just the right time.
i'm spending some time here on your blog this morning, getting ideas, getting ready to put your swap box together this weekend! :) i have one artsy thing drying outside and another in the works. yay! what fun this is! the hardest part is selecting just the right book. it's important to me to find one you haven't read, one that will resonate...headed to your goodreads next! :) have a wonderful day, my friend!!!!

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