Response to “Phenomenal Woman”
I think the theme and value Dr Maya is conveying in this poem is self-confidence. She describes the hidden beauty that woman should use. To her, beauty is not about physical appearance it’s about elegance, style, attitude, inner beauty and especially self-confidence. In her poem she almost instantly starts by saying “I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size” which prepares us to learn about a different source of beauty. She continues after this statement with a description of her beauty telling us where it hides. She says her beauty is in style and elegance. The way she walks, smiles and acts is what creates so much attraction in her. In the second stanza she writes: “I walk into a room just as cool as you please” which I think means she enters proud and in charge of herself. She has passion (“It’s the fire in my eyes”) and savage energy (“and the flash of my teeth”). By repeating “phenomenal woman, that’s me” at the end of every single stanza she seems to want to tell women to simply be themselves and their true beauty will follow. She introduces the views of men and women in the poem to show she is so confident about herself that she doesn’t care that “pretty women” (introduced in the first verse) envy her and the men swarm around her (second stanza). She is simply proud of herself, confident and happy. Such a personality is very rare because it is hard to have confidence and great inner beauty. It is a beauty that reminds me of the one Clarisse in the book Fahrenheit 451 had. Clarisse had inner beauty that radiated out and around her. Montag like the men referred to in the poem had trouble understanding the phenomenon. Also Clarisse had a big impact on Montag which really applies to anyone that meets such a woman. When meeting people with a beauty so deep we are left troubled and confused, it as a beauty so distinctive and mysterious like the poem says in the third stanza that we can’t forget it....
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