Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

I don't profess to be the biggest Maya Angelou fan ever, but her poem Phenomenal Woman pops in my head often. I have heard her recite it on TV, I have had to read it for high school English class, and it's probably  her most well known poem.

You would have to have been born and raised under a rock to not have been exposed to her work. Especially if you are any kind of a serious writer. But my god she was so much more than a poet. She was a teacher, a civil right's activist,  and the first black female director in Hollywood. She wrote, directed and stared in many productions, and authored countless books and academic papers. She was one of the most renowned and influential woman of our times. And she was a single mother. She was that 'Phenomenal Woman'.

It was with a heavy heart I learned of her passing today. She was just one of those figures who was so big in my mind, I always thought of her as being immortal to a point. She has stood with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X , presidents, stars and dignitaries. And now she resides with them in that immortal book of time. The world has certainly lost a great woman. A respected humanitarian, and a brilliant mind. We have lost that Phenomenal Woman.... and the void will never be filled.

                                                      
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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