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.

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

213 Comments

  1. CECE JENNI AND AMAIRANI:)♥ says:

    dear to people that think Maya Angelou is dead she is NOT!!!!! SHE IS STILL LIVING ALTHOUGH OLD BUT SHE IS A VERY INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN FOR HER AGE!:) PEOPLE SHOULD REALLY GOOGLE MAYA ANGELOU AND THEY WILL SEE SHE IS ALIVE AND WELL! THANK YOU FOR READING THIS! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!! THANK YOU!:)LOVE AND ALWAYS!:)♥

  2. jazmin says:

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE POEM BY MAYA ANGELOU.I LOVE HER POEMS HER BOOK HER EVERYTHING

  3. Tyoane Simpson says:

    This is a awesome poem I am a young, beautiful,black full figure women. This should not only inspire black women but all women. Black, white, spanish, asia, indian women. Beatiful women,ugly women , big or small
    women. You can have snaggle tooth and one eye. But after reading this poem you will feel like the most beautiful, one eyed snaggle tooth women there is. A
    Phenomenal women that’s me.

  4. Sophia robinson says:

    THIS IS ULTIMATELY THE GREATEST POEM OF ALL TIMES I ALWAYS RECOMMEND IT TO WOMEN I MEET.

  5. Tearrah Wilson says:

    I REALLY LIKE THIS POEM BECAUSE I USED IT A MY SCHOOL IN A POETRY SLAM AND I HAD TO RECITE IT IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE SCHOOL I HAD SO MUCH CONFIDENT IN MYSELF I TOOK MYSELF OUT TO EAT.I WON A GOLD MEDAL 2!

  6. Carmen Rosa says:

    I am a puertorican woman who is proud of my race, I adore the fact that 1/3 of the blood that runs in my veins is the blood of my ancestors who were black slaves. Maybe many people in the world don’t know that “boricuas” are a race that comes from three, spanish, “tainos (indians)” and black. And let me say that our Flavor and Heart is all black…
    It is incredible how you write Miss Maya, there is nothing that you had wrote that I don’t applaud with every fiber of my heart and soul.
    Thank you Miss Maya for sharing the wonderful talent you have with all of us and for making the women who read your material feel ….Phenomenal
    Peace

  7. Tiffani W says:

    When I read Phenomenal Woman I was moved ,because as a young African American Woman I feel that we dont give ourselvs credit as to how beautiful we are. Honestly I can Say that thanks to Maya Angelou being the voice of black young ladies all over we no longer haft to hold our head down. I can now walk high and talk low and still be heard by all man and woman alike. THANK YOU MISS ANGELOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Marki says:

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  9. LaVada Frazier says:

    I really enjoy everything that you do, I love your

    stationary. I am using your poem at present entitled “phenomenal Woman” to aid in teaching an eleventh grader to read. Thank God for you.

  10. Tiffany Gibson says:

    Phenomenal Woman has become my mantra. Like Dr. Angelou I am also of exceptional height and size, something that people never failed to bring to my attention and not always in the positive either. Reading that poem gave me a new outlook of myself…I embraced my inner woman, I now walk taller, I feel beautiful and I am phenomenal. God Bless Dr. Maya..A Fabulous Phenomenal Woman

  11. Julie ODonnell says:

    this poem was inspirational to me because after a certain age, and having children your body goes through many changes so you dont always have the confidence that you had prior, but Phenomenal Woman reminds me that it is not the exterior it is what you carry within. The self confidence,strength, and wisdom

  12. Ali Ottum says:

    When I read the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelo it sent a message to me. She expresses her thoughts about her life and her looks. They give you self confidence and help you to feel less self-conscious. You can tell she has a feeling about racism. She inclines that it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, or even purple!
    She says she is phenomenal, you can tell she is. She thinks highly of herself, to make the right decisions and how even if she isn’t “a fashion model size” boys can still drop to their knees when they see her.
    To other people she may seem like a mystery. But to me, Maya Angelo, is one who already has life figured out. When someone is so sure about everything she says she doesn’t care what other people think. She has “the grace of her style.” She knows what’s in her and she knows how to tell it like it is.
    The ways she thinks is so proud and courageous! She can certainly say with a smile that she isn’t perfect. She’s, “not cute or built to fit a fashion model size.” She may not be perfect but maybe she likes it that way. She doesn’t have to be loud or jumpy to be someone special. She can be liked just the way she is.
    She won’t change for anyone. She won’t change her looks or her ways. “It’s the fire in her eyes.” She can make a room smile by just telling you her confidence-boosting advice. She is a woman, phenomenally. And guess what? Maybe that’s me too.
    Maybe all girls are phenomenal women! Maybe we can all stand up and say “I rise!” And we ALL can feel good about the way we look and the way we are!
    She is a phenomenal woman. If you don’t think so, take it up with her. But I promise she will tell you, “It’s the click of my heels, the bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, the need of my care. ‘Cause I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman, that’s me.”

  13. Angel Price says:

    I love this pome I read it every night. I seems like the pome was made for me. When I read this pome it made me see that people can love me for me because I am a Phenomenal Women.

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