Thursday, May 29, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

Yesterday morning Maya Angelou (1928-1914) left us. But she has not left us alone.  Her voice is with us, cheering us to be more than we were, to be all that we can become.  Places to read her words and words about her include PoetryFoundation.org (scroll down past the bio for links to poems), Poets.org, The Washington Post, and Angelou's website.

Angelou's poetry is filled with the geometry and motion of womanhood.  For example: 

from  Phenomenal Woman      by Maya Angelou

     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.
          . . .

From Angelou's Phenomenal Woman:  Four Poems Celebrating Women (Random House, 1994).

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