I’ve got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can call my own.

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

33 Comments

  1. lizzie says:

    i love this poem

  2. salim khan says:

    Dear all, please send me difficult words of Women Work,by maya angelou.on my email greatdajee2yahoo.com.
    Thanks all

  3. C.Ann says:

    SAVVAS, i believe that Maya uses the first stanza with a rhyme pattern of AABBCCDD, etc. because during that stanza it’s showing a list of her everyday duties and the predictable structure of it. In the 4 stanzas that follow it are free verse. Those stanzas are explaining her wanting of a break from her everyday duties, to let nature set her free. it’s wrote in free verse to show, just that, she wants to be free. free from her responsibilities for some time. It’s very cleaver that she wrote it that way.

  4. SAVVAS says:

    nice poem but you used two different styles why?
    how were you inspired to write this poem? where were you when you wrote it?

  5. norine says:

    I wanted you to know how much your poetry has influenced my life and encouraged me through tough times, and in good times it has inspired me. You see I am Bipolar and that can be very rough but in my darkest hours i turn to God, Prayer and Your Poetry. I would also like you to know that I am a white woman who very proudly calls you her favorite inspirational poet who inspires all races of both men and women. My sincerest
    gratitude and please continue to write prolifically.

  6. CORNELIA says:

    I was at work & got tired of just thinking of all that has to be done when I get home. I decided to google you & I have to say your poem has brightened my day! My kids are awesome & I really don’t mind doing anything for them but your poem made me smile at all that we actually do in a day. Once again Ms. Maya you have lifted a woman’s spririts. May God Bless You & Heaven Smile Upon You.

  7. arbrion says:

    I LOVE THIS POME I ALSO DID THIS POEM IN THE 4TH GRADE AND WON 3RD PLACE BECAUSE I WAS A LITTLE SHY BUT I TRULY LOVE YOUR POEMS

  8. Chitara says:

    Maya Angelo u are the best!! i was sitting down reading poems and some how i stop to read yours, so i picked the one i care for the BEST!! and Woman Work was one, i thought about my mother doing all the work in our house hold and many things she does to put food on the table.well any ways i really enjoyed the poem
    u really help me really under stand many things.im giving u my best friend e-mail because i dont have one but if u di write back she will let me know,because she knows i look up 2 u.. Bye-bye and by the way u are very beauful To me Truly!! (Chitara)Baton Rouge LA
    Kenil worth middle School!!

  9. Dyala says:

    my opinion to this poem is it a poem based on something true that most housewives have to do no matter what other circumstances are.no matter how much you try to get away from the routines you end up having to do it because its a pattern in your life.

  10. R says:

    This poem not only critisizes the situation of women, but rejoices in the power of women to overcome the tasks they are often burdened with. The speaker may not exactly be looking forward to completing her work, but she certainly does not let herself become bogged down by her responsibilities. THIS is the lesson Maya Angelou is sending. It is not feministic, but universal. We all have our jobs to do, but it is in our ability to recognize the LIGHT in them that we can truly shine.

  11. ashley says:

    this poem tells us that women all over the world have more work then men. the way she deliever this poem shows plethora of emotion… do any one agree with me?

  12. ginger says:

    her words are felt in my heart and the simplicity is a breath of fresh air. knowing someone understands makes my path a little smoother. Thank you Maya Angelou.

  13. Rob says:

    Im studying this poem for my GCSEs and i know how women are treated. I think that this poem shows that perfectly. It shows that she has a very mundane and monotonous life, how like she is trapped in a vortex that will never end. It goes around and around like a wheel. Women still need to do work like her as well. It may not be such a huge issue now because women can work and they couldnt back when the poem was set. Either way this is a touching poem that hopfully inspires a lot of people. I particullaly like the like stanza 2-5 where it shows that she is appealing to nature. I hope this message helps you.

  14. yelly says:

    and the reason why I so love the work of Maya Angelou is the simplicity of the prose and the quickness of the words. I love this poem…even as an oldest child in my household, I have had to do many many things to run the house as a child….I identify completely.

  15. abi says:

    I BELIVE EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS POEM.MAYA IS A VERY BRILLIANT WOMAN.I READ THIS POEM, JUST LIKE I SEE MYSELF IN THE MIRROR.IT’S LIKE A WOMAN’S JOB NEVER ENDS.WE ARE ALWAYS SO BUSY DOING SOMETHING EVERY SINGLE DAY. I SEE MYSELF SAYING EVERY NIGTH “THANK GOD FOR CREATING NIGH TIME FOR RESTING OR ELSE WE WOULD HAVE BROKEN DOWN.”

  16. nayana says:

    it has a feministic touch

  17. Tammy Simms says:

    Excellent!

  18. Kim Adams says:

    In reading this poem, it really sums it up for me that women have alot of “hats”. We carry alot of weight but yet, our journey never ends. From sunrise to sunset, we work at many things and control our presence. I encourage every woman to read Ms. Angalou’s poems for not just inspiration but also for realization of who you really are and why “you are worth more than rubies.”

  19. Nat Fearnley says:

    I think that Maya Angelou is a very inspirational and heartful writer who has tons of soul which she pours into her writing. She deserves every award available!

  20. A simple girl says:

    It really tellsabout woman and stuff. I think that it shows how much all wokmen rally so and that it’s not so easy.

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