Phenomenal Woman is a poem written by Maya Angelou, a renowned African American author, poet, and civil rights activist. In this poem, Angelou celebrates the beauty and strength of women, and encourages them to embrace their femininity and unique qualities.
The poem begins with the line "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies," which suggests that Angelou's beauty is not conventional and does not conform to societal standards. Instead, her beauty comes from within and is a result of her self-confidence and inner strength.
Angelou goes on to describe the various physical attributes that make her a phenomenal woman, such as her "red lips, wide mouth," and "full hips." However, these physical features are not the source of her power. Rather, it is her inner qualities that truly make her phenomenal. She is self-assured and confident, and she does not rely on the approval or validation of others.
Throughout the poem, Angelou uses vivid imagery and descriptive language to convey the magnificence of women. She compares a woman's body to a "round dance" and a "map of the world," suggesting that women are complex and multifaceted beings. In addition, Angelou uses the metaphor of a "black ocean" to describe the depth and mystery of a woman's soul.
One of the most striking aspects of Phenomenal Woman is the way in which Angelou challenges traditional gender roles and expectations. She rejects the notion that women should be passive and submissive, and instead asserts their power and agency. She writes, "I walk into a room / Just as cool as you please / And to a man, the fellows stand or / Fall down on their knees." This passage suggests that Angelou is not afraid to assert her presence and command respect from men.
Overall, Phenomenal Woman is a celebration of the beauty, strength, and complexity of women. It encourages women to embrace their unique qualities and reject societal expectations. Through vivid imagery and powerful language, Angelou celebrates the power and agency of women and encourages them to be proud of who they are.
Phenomenal Woman: Poem & Analysis
Have you read these? Her body is not of the conventional womanly shape that has been promoted and well established in the mind of the present day society. Louis, MO for three years before her parents got divorced, and Maya, along with her mother and brother, moved in with her grandparents in Arkansas. The poet again relates different features of the beauty of a woman from African American Meanings of Stanza -3 Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. As Angelou is writing from her personal experience, she is actually describing what it feels like to be a phenomenal black woman. The speaker reveals that all of her recollections have led up to the present moment when she declares that she can be a phenomenal woman without trying to draw attention to herself or fitting stereotypes. Understatement "My inner mystery" metonymy - The inner mystery stands for the inner qualities that are invisible to the eye and make up the speaker's personality.
Who is Maya Angelou? Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. June Jordan Poem About My Rights Analysis 1028 Words 5 Pages The poem was written in a time where black people and women were dehumanized where those in power abused the power to gain more and those without power were continuously affected by it. The poet expects that after describing so many of her physical features, she thinks that her interlocutors, who are possibly women, would have understood why she feels proud of her. It is in the way she wears her hair with a bend in the locks. All these are the things that make her so unique as a woman. Since she has a body of her own; her glistening smile, movement of the waist, lightness of her feet makes her a champion. The poet says that the reason why men are attracted to her is in her eyes, her teeth, her waist, and her feet.
Moreover, it is in the palm of her hand, the gentleness of her touch. They have an enticing trait in them. GradeSaver, 11 April 2022 Web. The poet says that men themselves have wondered what they see in her. Unlike other women who shout and jump about and have to talk aloud to register their presence before men, the poet has a quiet way of going about. They all either stand in respect and awe or fall down on their knees in admiration and astonishment. The word man in the context of this poem, implies mankind in its entirety.
Since she knows she is phenomenal, she celebrates what she is and what she has. This powerful idea pushes us readers to feel beautiful and rebel against standards of beauty. Genre Confident, in that the speaker is certain of her worth and beauty as a phenomenal woman. After relating her persona in the earlier stanzas, the writer now expects the readers to understand why she walks with her head held high. The use of a full stop at the end of this sentence is also quite significant, as it indicates that submitting oneself to silence and subservience was a lifetime sentence, the full stop symbolising death. Angelou expressed one time in her interview that she has written this poem for every woman. Pretty women look at her and still cannot understand why they lack what she has, and the irony is that they are supposed to be prettier than her.
He puts a lot of emphases on nature, searching for something, reflecting on past experiences, and building central metaphors. They become weak in the knees and want to be at her service. Angelou says "I 'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model 's size" line 2. They think that she is telling lies and there are indeed some secrets behind her being so attractive. Comparing Mother To Son 'And Langston Hughes' Still I Rise 628 Words 3 Pages The author uses personification which expresses the theme because it shows people saying mean things about the speaker, but they keep moving on. However, a deeper look, as shown above, will also reveal the celebration and reverence of the feminine that Angelou gives to her narrator. The speaker is like a snake charmer, charming the men.
Give a critical analysis of the poem "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou.
Such is the pride and self-assurance the poet places on herself. Her success without essential feminine traits surprises pretty women and they often want to know the secret of her success. The poem has a distinctive rhyme scheme with the last nine lines of each stanza having a rhyme scheme of ABCDC EFEF, with minor changes in rhyme pattern in the starting lines of each stanza. As she walks into a room all the men are attracted by her. This poem, along with Maya Angelou was a famous civil rights activist and poet.
She wants the readers to know that it would be a sheer delight to make her an acquaintance. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Comparing Mother To Son 'And Langston Hughes' Still I Rise 628 Words 3 Pages Let us say someone encountered a bump in life or something bad happened people will always move past it eventually because people cannot let something weigh them down for the rest of their lives. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work nonfiction category, in 2005 and 2009. Maya Angelou And Cady Stanton 768 Words 4 Pages One individual who could play an example of one of the symbolic images Angelou describes is Stanton. Through the poem the poet presents herself as a woman who is not quite a coquettish belle, but is beautiful in her own way.
However, phenomenal directly relates to phenomenon, which means "a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable. They do not understand what it is about her that makes her command such high dignity and recognition in the society. Another example of repetition throughout this poem is the title, as the concepts of stopping by woods on a snowy evening is constantly being mentioned. So that WIND came along. The poem can be considered as a discourse commenting on social outlook towards gender and sexuality, and is commonly regarded as a tribute to womanhood. It shows that the poet is completely comfortable with the natural way she looks. It is in the ride of her breast; in the way her bosom tardily falls and rises, signifying her dignity and elegance.
For example, the last words that rhyme in the last stanza are: know, though, here and snow, in which the first, second and fourth rhyme, meanwhile the third line, here, rhymes with the following stanzas rhyming words: queer, near, lake and year. They do not understand what it is about her that makes her so assertive. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. The poem, in the end, gives us a sustaining sense of self, that little us in the big us which can never be destroyed by any gender or class or race. She proudly declares that neither she has an hourglass figure, nor she has a cute face.