The poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou doesn’t really need any foreword or introduction. It does the work for itself- to ruffle something within you and your heart takes a leap! I write this nevertheless, as I can’t contain it.
In her eulogy to Angelou, the First Lady Michelle Obama referred to this poem saying the former ‘…celebrated black woman’s beauty like no one else‘. But I think it doesn’t just confine itself to women of color; its for any woman who thinks she’s too short, too tall, too pale, too dark, too underweight, too over weight… Beauty is all about that Spirit within that shines forth transcending everything without. The poem encompasses all women: our grace, our power, our love.
The admiring mans eyes can make a woman feel she is the most beautiful woman there is, regardless of the fact that she meets the established beauty standards or not. Interestingly, Angelou does something similar: she describes herself through the poem, but she makes you feel she’s actually describing you to the world (replace the I/ me with ‘you‘, ‘my‘ with “your“, and ‘you‘ with “they“). It feels like she knows who you are deep down-that is the greatness in her love as a human being,
A lovely video that Maya Angelou talks of Love that liberates:
As regards the poem Phenomenal Woman, call me overemotional, but the first time as I read it, I choked halfway through as I heard in my mind Maya reciting the poem: that spark in her eyes, the music in the verses, the power in her charm.