Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

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,
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  • Seif Al Hajri (2/1/2013 2:17:00 AM)

    I know no one will probably read this but i'm willing to give it a try

    I am a 15 year old talented poet(that's what i think) And i have written about 10 poems now.I need someones opinion on my poems.No one reads my poems and i cant get my message out there and it makes me really frustrated.I would appreciate it if you guys would read my poems and give me your opinions on them

    Regards, Seif Hajri (Report) Reply

  • Bekah Olde (1/26/2013 1:35:00 AM)

    I like the flow of this poem but its kind of cheesy and filled with child like rhymes.
    And I'm all for the empowerment of women but she sounds really up herself. Well guess what your shit smells just the same as everyone else's does. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (1/25/2013 3:34:00 PM)

    Well, I approached this poem without preconceptions, knowing nothing of Ms Angelou. I rather vaguely thought she was African. I saw a monstrously egotistical poem which celebrates only one woman.
    Now that I have been 'educated' by various other posters, I see a monstrously egotistical poem which celebrates only one woman. (Report) Reply

  • Ro Keenan (1/23/2013 5:01:00 PM)

    She's saying that whatever people think a'pretty woman' is is fine, but she's not 'conventionally' beautiful but she's happy with herself and that she's happy to be a woman as women are phenomenal. Remember that as an 84 year old woman she lived through a time when women were still considered as majorly inferior to men. Celebrating womanhood used to be in meetings behind closed doors and people like her have encouraged it out into the open. If you want to argue anything, argue tha it's a feminist poem, as she says that women are phenomenal and she recognises it. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Senior (1/22/2013 7:04:00 AM)

    This poem seems more at the level of a submission to a womans magazine such as Chat or Take-A-Break than the heady level some commentators merit it with. Her message about womens conficence is great, it is just the rather cheesy delivery I object to. It is very contemporary and PC, and many people will like it just for this alone, decrying anyone who doesn't like it, but in my opinion it is simply an average poem. (Report) Reply

  • Wonder Woman (1/19/2013 7:01:00 AM)

    SW: Did you read the first two lines like you suggested to Ali Mcbeal? If so, do you understand what the first two lines mean? Did you go beyond the actual and physical words “pretty woman”? The writer is not touting [attempt to persuade people of the merits of (someone or something) ] that she is better (in your words “outshine”) than these “pretty woman”. She has a “secret”. Obviously the secret is lost to you. The secret is that she has self-confidence that has NOTHING to do with being what fits the stereotypical role of what a “pretty woman” is supposed to look like. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (1/18/2013 3:49:00 PM)

    To Ali Mcbeal:
    I don't think you've read the poem carefully enough. Please re-study the first few lines. The poem is about how she outshines pretty women.
    make me want to scratch my eyes out and chase you down and murder all of you. These remarks are as intemperate as they are impractical. Difficult to chase people after you have scratched your eyes out.
    Please consult a psychiatrist. (Report) Reply

  • Ali Mcbeal (1/18/2013 1:13:00 PM)

    You are such a sorry bunch of fucking idiots! All of you playing at being poets and you have no idea who Maya Angelou is! ! ! Some of you even talking to her directly (or criticizing her work on here) like she's the one who posted it. She is an 84 year old poet who has achieved world wide success, a Pulitzer Prize and other awards. I don't think she needs recognition from a silly poetry site (and that's how you spell it, not sight) . Her poem isn't shallow (like some of you boneheads stated) , it's about women's identity and freedom (frequent themes in her work) . If you really want to become serious writers, pick up a book, build some foundations on which to expend. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (1/12/2013 5:14:00 AM)

    to Jasmine Hale: before criticising other people's educational level, you might like to learn to spell. Yoou might also try to improve your grammar a bit.
    Maya isn't the worst poet to have ever lived, but she is certainly the vainest.
    Would a poem in this vein have been well received if it had been written by a white man? (Report) Reply

  • Rasshi Singh (1/11/2013 1:10:00 AM)

    This is one poem that makes one believe in oneself... You feel beautiful and proud to be a woman..
    In today's world where women are pressurized to look beautiful all the time and be a perfect size.. poem like these evoke a sense of confidence in all, irrespective of their shape, size or color..
    For a poet to evoke such an attitude among people is truly an ardent task, which is well achieved by Maya Angelou... Awesome piece of work... bravo... (Report) Reply

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