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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Maya Angelou's poem Phenomenal Woman


  1. Roxanne barrett says:

    this poem discribes me in so many ways thats why i love it so much

  2. Jessica Collins says:

    Ilove poem so nice how did youcome up with this poem

  3. Kia says:

    I absolutely love this poem. It’s stayed with me from the first time I read it. Well done. Much praise.

  4. Kia says:

    I absolutely love this poem. It’s stayed with me from the first time I read it. Well done. Much praise.

  5. Danielle says:

    I can re-late to this poem in a number of ways..I myself like you know that i am a phenomenal woman.I follow my dreams and i dont let anyone tell me i cant be any thing.Like i said before you are my of my life time goals is to meet you and perhaps have a cup of tea.!!

  6. some guy says:

    that was good

  7. Tsion says:

    It made a lot of sense. usually when i first read a poem i dont get it or i dont 0like it but this has become one of my favorites. It changes the everyday ideal of the envied woman.

  8. Shilpa says:

    I love this poem. Being a woman, it really speaks to my heart. Today, many people do not understand that a woman does not have to be beautiful only on the outside, but on the insides as well. It is what she has to offer of herself that makes her Phenomenal. I live by this poem as I am this woman:strong, passionate and beautiful. Thank you Ms. Maya Angelou, these are truly words to stand by.

  9. cynthia lynn stigger says:

    First of all I would like to say, God have truly blessed you with a gift of words. Phenomenal Woman is a poem that speak for me and other women as well.

    I’m also a published author of poetry, with a desire to meet you in person, and to share a spoken word or two with you.

  10. Niasia Gregory says:

    This poem really inspires me to know that know matter what people say about me to keep my head up and I can do anything I want in life.

  11. Brit says:

    poem is wonderous and it touched my heart =]

    Me & my friends are doing a project ont his poem for english…. we are inspired.

    you are splended.

  12. Lisa Farkas says:

    Today was the first time I had the pleasure to hear the poem “Phenomenal Woman”. I am familiar with Maya Angelou, if you live in this world how can you not! What an impact she has made on so many people. I am an anglo woman from the Southwest. We have a very diverse culture and I am proud to have many friends from different cultures, countries and religions. This poem was read at a funeral today for a dear friend of my mothers. As I listened to the poem I thought of what a strong statement the poem made. We live in a society of only looking at physical beauty and forget the inner beauty in women. The funeral of Saundra Beard spoke volumes of her inner beauty, although, she was also beautiful on the outside too! As women we should always imbrace that beauty that is inside. Thank you Ms. Angelou for giving us such wonderful words to live by! May God Bless!

  13. Maria says:

    i luv this poem even tho i dont no anything about the author i luv every poem i have read from you!!!keep writing poems….

  14. Jasmine says:

    I love this poem it is an inspiration to me because i too write peorty and it just let me know that woman are the new meaning of something right

  15. Iesha says:

    I love them poem. I am going to be in a paegant in a few days and I am going to act it out. Keep up the good work.

  16. christian says:

    wat up shorty

  17. cristie says:

    i’m doing a report on amreican poems and your poem inspired me most as a young woman. i wish to live up to this poem as i grow older and you are great at what you do!

  18. bessie says:

    this poem never ceases to amaze me and i think this definitly shows the tru meaning of women. even tho im jus a middle school student it amazes me

  19. Ray Dees says:

    I love this poe because it shows some of the true values of a woman. I love your poem Ms.Maya
    great reading!!!!

  20. Addisalem says:

    it is so nice…it shows that we need to be nothing more than what we are…i love it…

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