The poem “Phenomenal Woman” describes the spirit of womanhood. The poem describes a woman who is proud of being a woman, who is confident, follows her heart, has faith in herself and believes in her inner strength. Such a woman is ‘phenomenally phenomenal.’ The poet tells her readers to ignore the conventional view of being beautiful which is only related to physical appearance. Instead the poet asks us to feel proud of what God has endowed us with. Women should not succumb to the artificial canons of beauty. Maya Angelou reminds us that our beauty lies much beyond the outer appearance. She lists down some qualities that make truly phenomenal and why other women and men find her beauty mysterious. “Phenomenal Woman” begins with a stark comment saying that she is neither cute nor has a great figure to suit a model’s size. She tells that ‘pretty women’ often wonders where the secret of her success lies. Moreover when she reveals her so-called secrets to them, they refuse to believe her. She describes her secret saying that it comes from her confidence, the way she stretches her arms, the way she walks, the rhythm of her hips and also the way she smiles. Her entire body is an expression of womanliness. Maya Angelou concludes the first stanza by saying that she is a ‘phenomenal woman’. Here the word ‘phenomenal’ can have dual meanings, one that is she is huge and the second, she has a towering personality. Thus she is huge in both physique and personality. In the second stanza, Maya says that no matter how cool she enters a room, men fall for her and falls on their knees, they swarm around her like bees. She claims that it’s the passion in her eyes, the shine of her teeth when she smiles, the movement of her waist and the lightness of her feet that win men over. She is phenomenally a phenomenal woman. She considers herself as supreme and outstanding.
In the third stanza, she says she remains a mystery to men. Men often wonder why they fancy her. They try hard...
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