Phenomenal Woman – Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

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
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
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

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 of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

– Maya Angelou

This poem has traveled all over with me – tacked to the bulletin board above my study desk, taped to the wall at the appartment I rented while working in Mumbai, on my office desk, in my closet…so how could it not be on my blog?

Got a poem that’s traveled with you everywhere? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Posted in Scrambled Thoughts and tagged , , .


  1. Glad to finally make it here to your wonderful blog. I love Maya Angelou and have read everything she’s written. I will be following you as per our group assignments.
    Have a great week!
    Elizabeth – Team Lamby/Hare/WeLuvWordpress

    • I happened to come across this point at a time when my self-confidence was at a low. When I read it, it was like someone had jerked me awake and shown me the way. That’s the main reason why I always keep it around me – so that it serves as a constant reminder of what a phenomenal woman is, and I don’t buy into the stick thin look promoted by fashion magazines again. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love that poem, how beautiful. I can’t say that I have a poem that has traveled everywhere with me. The book that does though is Anne of Green Gables. I’ve always loved Anne’s innocense and quirkiness and free spirit.

  3. This is my favorite poem. I was going to put it on my blog last week and forgot. I think it’s too cool that I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently and BOOM here it is!

    Thanks for sharing it.

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