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Phenomenal woman, goodbye.

Posted in Things We Love

Maya AngelouMarguerite Johnson was a dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor, single mother, magazine editor in Cairo, administrative assistant in Ghana, official of the Southern Christian Leadership conference, actress, college professor. Writer and poet. She was Maya Angelou.

Acutely aware of the power of words, Ms. Angelou, with her own, inspired and empowered men and women fighting against racism and for equality.

As we bid her farewell, we would like to remember her with the poem, “Phenomenal Woman”, that all of us who sometimes struggle with self-esteem or self-acceptance, should keep close at hand.

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
Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.

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
Phenomenally.
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 for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

A while ago, sofagirl posted about Maya Angelou – find here Why the cagebird sings

Image found in the public domain

 

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2 Comments

  1. silvia
    silvia

    Outstandingly beautiful.
    RIP Maya Angelou, may your soul eternally dance

    May 30, 2014
    |Reply

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