Phenomenal Woman

Topics: Poetry, Woman, Alliteration Pages: 2 (1226 words) Published: October 22, 2014

Maya Angelou is best known for addressing the world through the medium of her own life. Her works are a reflection of the social issues that were prevalent in the second half of the 20th century. “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou celebrates femininity and highlights the traits necessary for a woman to become ‘phenomenal.’ She believes that it is not the outer beauty of a person but the inner one which makes each woman phenomenal. She criticizes the biased societal expression that expects women to starve themselves in order to be considered ‘pretty.’ Stanza 1: “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. Stanza 2: 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. Stanza 3: In the third stanza, she says she remains a mystery to men. Men often wonder why they fancy her. They try hard as much as they can to understand her mystery but they cannot touch her soul. Actually, they fail to understand that her...
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