Famous Inspirational Poem

Maya Angelou is one of the most influential women of our time. Her writing pulls on the hearts of many readers. In addition to her proliferous writing career, Maya Angelou has been a civil rights activist. This poem shows how even though someone is not beautiful on the outside compared to society's standards, there is an inner beauty that makes a woman even more beautiful.

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Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou this poem is a Classic that deals with every women in the world. This poem shows that beauty is compare by what society thinks a woman should looked like,...

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Analysis of Form and Technique

Famous Poem

Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou By more Maya Angelou

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 of Form and Technique

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Techniques this poem uses:

  • This poem uses repeated lines at the end of each stanza to bring attention to being a phenomenal woman. This also gives structure to the poem, helping the ideas flow and be cohesive.

    I'm a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    Read more about repetition and structure in poetry.
  • This poem uses a metaphor to compare men to a hive of bees. Metaphors compare two objects without using the words "like" or "as."

    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.

    Read more about metaphors

More Poems with Analysis of Form and Technique

more Maya Angelou

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Michelina by Michelina
  • 1 year ago

Phenomenal Woman is one of my favorite poems by
Dr. Maya Angelou. She is a phenomenal woman! In this poem, she inspires all women to know their inner beauty and embrace their powerful divine femininity. A woman's worth and her beauty comes from within, the sunshine in her smile. True self-confidence does not come from the outside world nor can be based on societal expectations. Dr. Mayo Angelou inspires me to let go of societal expectations, loving all of my so called "imperfections," becoming the woman I am meant to be. I am a woman's centered life coach and lecturer. One of my passions is to inspire other woman to embrace their unique beauty, re-discover and strengthen their self confidence and to know that they are worthy, their story matters, and they are magnificently created, because each woman is phenomenal. From the depth of my heart, I want to thank Dr. Maya for inspirational poems and her legacy of beauty that she has left for all woman.

  • Malvis by Malvis
  • 4 years ago

Wow! I'm really inspired. I'm surprised at Ms. Maya's life of being hated by her sisters, even though they are more beautiful than her! I hardly get compliments from ladies, because they feel by telling me I'm beautiful they are disregarding themselves. All I've faced with fellow women is jealousy and anger just because of my beauty. But what is beauty, if it cannot impact lives? The real beauty of a person is not the pleasant looks we admire outside but the beauty inside them that they can project to the world, making a significant impact, like our late sister, Maya! (RIP)

  • Deborah N. James by Deborah N. James, Abia state, Nigeria
  • 4 years ago

Maya Angelou in this poem "Phenomenal Woman" gives every woman a musical treasure that will be a guide for life.

  • Diptika Khan by Diptika Khan
  • 3 years ago

Maya Angelou was, is, and always will be my favorite. It's not only a guide for life but also helps when we are at the lowest.

  • Kristine Miller by Kristine Miller
  • 5 years ago

I found this in a 'keepsake' box I have for cards and notes my daughters have given me since they were in daycare. It was given to me by my youngest daughter for Mother's Day in 2002. I was in the middle of a horrible marriage and didn't realize they knew that. I read it again today and it brought tears to my eyes that she was so full of strength. Sharing this with your daughters is a must, but sharing it with your mother is a true gift.

  • Kelly J by Kelly J
  • 6 years ago

I grew up with beautiful sisters, and I was the ugly duckling. To this day I feel their jealousy, and they will never give me respect. I walk proud, and people like me. I'm successful, strong, I can make heads turn and keep people interested by my delightful personality. However, I still see how certain men will not give someone like me the time of day since I don't look like "Barbie," but I find them to be lost, shallow people. When I think of these men and consider how my sisters treat me, I feel sad that they are empty like them. I recently heard this quote and find that it reminds me a little of this poem. "All people deserve respect, not just the ones you are trying to impress." Love who you are!!

What a beautiful way to teach all young women and young girls what the meaning of true beauty is! Everyone with daughters should have this poem framed and given as a gift for their daughters to have and to hold and to go back to from time to time through life to remind them of their beauty and worth. I loved this poem and will pass it along to my sister, nieces and great-niece and to all those beautiful ladies in my life that mean so much to me so they will always realize their unique beauty!

  • Mentor Exhibit by Mentor Exhibit
  • 6 years ago

Really indeed beautiful. Beauty of a woman is like a lump of gold which is hard to get. It's indeed captured from the inside, not outside, and this makes it very difficult for men to find, putting them in a complete bewilderment.

  • Monica Jones by Monica Jones
  • 8 years ago

I am Monica Jones. I believed early in life that I would not amount to much, stupid, fat and like water being soaked up in a sponge, I focused on the negative and not the positive. I had no spiritual being and my life was exposed to the material matters and outwardly appearances seemed to be what mattered most. My parents wanted me to have the possessions they were not brought up with.

As life proceeded, I never felt good about myself and I perceived myself as ugly, my hips and butt too large and I allowed the enemy of my soul to year by year haunt me and my self worth plummeted. As I began to grow as a Young woman my lack of love for myself caused me to self-sabotage and run off good young men and gravitate to those who would berate me and belittle me.

I further fell into a hole of depression, a butterfly indeed but a cocoon mind set. Today, I realize at 43 my density is to be cognizant of my worth and to move forward with the beauty that God instilled in me.

  • 4 years ago

Thank you dearly and sincerely. Your courage to "bless the next" with your story literally is what I needed to read at this very moment. It is what I needed to experience. It is also what my spirit and soul needed. God bless you! We are all here with a purpose.

  • Amber by Amber
  • 8 years ago

@Monica Jones,
Thank you for sharing so honestly and with such sincere words the circumstances you went through in the process of realizing your worth and eventually moving forward with the beauty of God in you.
It is what comes from inside you that attracts other beautiful souls to you.
Shine bright as the woman of value you have always been in God's eyes. Everything else is secondary.

  • Minneapolis by Minneapolis
  • 9 years ago

Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou this poem is a Classic that deals with every women in the world. This poem shows that beauty is compare by what society thinks a woman should looked like, walk and talk etc. Woman inner beauty makes a women whole and beautiful. Man had always wondered what they see in a women. I feel that society today still plays a role in how a men looks at a women. We must know that we all are phenomenal and can give back to ourselves and others.

  • Marisa Rodriguez by Marisa Rodriguez
  • 9 years ago

Phenomenal Woman by Dr. Maya Angelou, discuses how real women have curves and reminds us we're not perfect. We don't have to be model shaped to be noticed by anyone...the way we stride, the way we smile, the way our voluptuousness allows men to take notice and the way we leave men wondering what it is that makes us so mysterious is a subject, throughout the years, making us aware that beauty is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder..."Cause we are women phenomenally. Phenomenal women, that are we."

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