A phenomenal woman, indeed.

Maya Angelou—author, poet, human rights activist, has died at age 86.

maya

Photo credit: bit.ly/1kMe9M7

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 for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

BY MAYA ANGELOU

What empowering, inspiring words on true beauty for young girls and women to hear, for us all to be reminded of.

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Maya-Angelou-Learning-Quotes-Wallpaper

Photo credit: bit.ly/1nWkoMT

I am enriched reading her legacy of literature, poetry, her quotes—that’s how Maya Angelou has made me FEEL. I am off to role model “kick ass” to my young girls, and give “NORMAL” a good run for its money, although that’s just probably being an embarrassing mother. 🙂 And I’m off to read Maya’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), about her very challenging life up to the age of seventeen.

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I am sure Maya will rest in peace, because she worked hard for it in her life.

Maya Angelou official website

Huffington Post  article

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24 Responses to A phenomenal woman, indeed.

  1. I’m afraid that the wickedly funny (but vulgar) Boondocks animated social critique of U.S. rap / gansta culture has made it difficult for me to read about this magnificent woman without laughing.

    There was an episode where two dumb white dudes plotted to kidnap Oprah at a book signing, but they went to the other bookstore across the street by mistake, and inadvertently kidnapped Maya Angelou instead.

  2. I’d heard the quote about how people will never forget the way you made them feel before but didn’t know where it came from. In fact I’ve never read Maya and will definitely have to remedy that ignorant circumstance. Thanks for enlightening me Susan.

  3. suzjones says:

    I have one of her books in my reading pile right now. This is the second time in a few days I’ve heard mention of the book with the caged bird in it’s title. I might have to look into it.
    And send Nav to the naughty corner…. lol

  4. makes us proud to be WOMAN!… she did have a way with words1

  5. Lee-Anne says:

    I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know anything about this ‘phenomenal’ woman until last week when I heard she’d died and read all about her on social media.

    Love the pics and quotes – empowering indeed. 🙂

  6. Rebecca says:

    What an encouraging & powerful poem. What makes it so much more wonderful for me is the very little reference she actually gives to her appearance. Something we could not only inspire young women with but our young men & not just on how they should see/treat women but also themselves.

    • Thanks for visiting, Rebecca. That comment is worth a post on its own! 🙂
      Maya was right, people are influenced by how others see themselves, and I love the way she says it with such elegance.
      Look at gorgeous Dawn French, even in Vicar’s clothes!
      Or even Norman Lindsay’s women, voluptuous, naked and very pleased with themselves!
      The ABC interviewed a fashion guru who’d just written a book, said MALE models had to be young and thin. That is a FASHION, young men have enough on their plates without it being suggested they should be thin. Don’t get me started!!!!!

  7. An incredibly awesome and inspiring woman. She will be greatly missed, but no doubt her legacy will live on.

  8. This is a great post and an honorable tribute to a great woman. 🙂

  9. margie says:

    She was truly remarkable

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