Poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

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A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”- Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In the world we live in today women are only defined by their looks, when what truly defines them is their character. The poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, explains the aspects of women empowerment, which is confidence, indelibility and genuinity.

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There are many intriguing aspects of Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman.” The poem offers a great message about women empowerment, but it also does so in an interesting format. The clear overall message of this poem is to have confidence, confidence is found within yourself it cannot find you and throughout your life you should strive to better your self-assurance. The poem’s title “Phenomenal Woman” tells us right of the back that each woman should feel and be treated as phenomenal.

The poem’s second line “I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size” in this line Angelou tells us that the world views women as objects and looking beautiful is more important than being confident, genuine, and indelible. Angelou encourages women to be “Phenomenal” because “I walk into a room/Just as cool as you please,” meaning confidence is found within yourself. Having confidence you acknowledge that no one is above or below you, everyone is different. The poet also describes confidence should look like, “Just why my head’s not bowed./I don’t shout or jump about/Or have to talk real loud.” Angelou shows in just three lines that having confidence has a positive look on yourself, holding your head high displays grace and self respect and knowing that you don’t have to go to the extreme to get someone’s attention.

As I attempt to analyze my own poetry, I am going to focus on my “Object” poem. In this poem I chose to focus on an object that means the most to me. The object I chose is a necklace because it was given to my best friend. I constructed my poem in the style of free verse from Walt Whitman because I didn’t want to follow any rules. I wrote my poem as a quatrain with a rhyme pattern(i.e “Handed to me in a tiny box/I pulled off the top”), and imagery (i.e “She was picked up and set on my neck”) because four lines allowed me to use imagery to put a picture in the reader’s mind, but only for a short period of time.

So the reader could guess what the object was without my writing giving it away too much. In our study of poetry I’ve learned that poetry is a different way of understanding writing. Poets come up with the ideas for their poems by, experiences, memories or just simply letting their minds think. Poets construct their poems by how they feel it should be interpreted. I find free verse poetry more interesting to me than others because I feel that all poems and other types of writings should be written how the writer wants it written, without restrictions stopping their creativity.

So it is clear that the aspects of women empowerment has clearly been reflected from this poem. This is predominantly due to the fact that “beauty is more than skin deep,” self assurance itself is the core to self empowerment, that every woman strives to have. Therefore, everyone should find self assurance within themselves, whether you’re a female or male. All human beings should know that they are phenomenal.           

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Poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. (2021, Apr 04). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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