Phenomenal Woman is a dramatic poem by Maya Angelou about the love a woman has for herself even with her flaws. This poem is meant to be performed in front of an audience because the poem’s body movements reflect her flamboyant actions as she performs on stage.
The speaker is a strong, confident woman (possibly Angelou) whom men seem to be incredibly attracted to. This is odd because the woman seems to not consider herself beautiful. Through her poem, Angelou speaks to all women, beautiful or not. When the “phenomenal woman” informs what her secret was to fashion models, they suspect that she is lying. She then goes on to explains how no matter how she walks into a room, smiles, or looks at someone, men seem to fall all over. She frequently refers to herself as phenomenal and points out that she is just confident. Men find it a mystery why they are enamored with her, but she explains how it’s all about her rhythm that draws men. It isn’t about her traits that men love, it’s the self-belief and conviction that oozes from her traits. In lines 22,23, and 24, she clarifies that it’s the quality of her body language that has men swarm her like bees.
This poem has tones of celebration and joy. She celebrates her womanhood and how she’s supreme because of her confidence. “The fire in my eyes”, “The swing in my waist”, “The joy in my feet”, “The stride of my step” are the qualities that praise her happiness and the joy of being herself. Obviously, there is also a tone of self-admiration that comes from the repetition of her calling herself “phenomenal”.
The most conspicous theme in this poem is the power of body language. The first three stanzas really focuses on how her success and admiration all comes from her body language. It’s all about the MEANING of her walk and the MEANING of her smile that really captures her essence. The confidence that she exudes is what attracts males, not her looks nor her body. Another prevalent theme in this poem is the development...
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