Woman By Maya Angelou Analysis
Born in 1928, Angelou’s lifetime undertook commitments such as being a leading author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist who was the first nonfiction best-seller, African-American woman. She was a dominant voice of feminism and has power amongst womanhood through her approach of poetry.
Witten in 1978, Maya Angelou expresses her emotions towards the disadvantages women received and wished women to have the same rights as men. This poem has helped to see the progressions of change that has occurred between the way women were once treated and how they are treated now. In ‘Phenomenal Woman,’ Angelou has portrayed the atrocious behaviour as to how men objectified a woman’s dignity and values. Also, ideas and concepts are being suggested in the poem by Angelou, that typical gender stereotypes must be …show more content…
Angelou’s has applied free verse and unconventional rhyme scheme. But has a clear rhythmic flow which is suggestive of the curves of the female form, allowing the poem to emphasise the theme of the natural feminine allure. In the first stanza, Angelou makes people wonder what she has that they are missing, even though she lacks traits of most ‘beautiful’ women. She states, “They think I’m telling lies” and proceeds on telling the viewer that her allure lies in her ‘arms, hips and lips.’ Phenomenal meaning, ‘remarkable or exceptional, especially exceptionally good’. This definition of the word ‘phenomenal’ injects strong irony into the poem. Angelou has demonstrated her innate womanliness and its power, by indicating things like the “arch of her back” or “sun of her smile.” To her, female beauty and power are a clear phenomenon, noticeable by the senses. But the men “say they still can’t see.” This proves that the beauty and power is a mysterious force, unknowable even when they are directly shown it to men. Words such as ‘phenomenal’ and descriptions of her physical attributes like, ‘the grace of my style, the bend of hair, the palm of my hand, and the need for my care,’ all possesses a quality that attracts men without an objective explanation because she is not “cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.” In the second stanza, Angelou has expanded her