Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Decent Essays
The title of the poem is ‘Phenomenal Woman’. Phenomenal is not a word which is often used to describe a woman. One would hear a woman described as beautiful or pretty but the word phenomenal is telling us that this is no ordinary woman, she is special and outstanding. The poem starts off with the words ‘pretty woman’ which makes us realise that this phenomenal woman would not be regarded as pretty in the eyes of society. The poet then describes the woman who is normally appreciated by society: ‘I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size’. She is telling us that this phenomenal woman does not fit these criteria. She uses the words ‘I say’ and puts a comma after the words which emphasises that she really does believe in what she says. The next few lines draws on imagery and uses the words ‘hips, steps, lips’ which brings about the image of a shapely woman. It points out the womanly charms that all women have (hips and lips) and which they tend to use in order to entice men. The stanza ends with the words: I'm a woman/ Phenomenally. /Phenomenal woman,/ That's me.’ She uses these words constantly throughout the poem. It is like a mantra and emphasises that this is not an ordinary woman and that she does not just blindly do what society dictates her to do. It is also like she is trying to get the message across to the reader and by repeating these words, perhaps the reader will quickly ascertain that they are true. She says ‘I’m a woman/ Phenomenally’. Phenomenally here
Get Access