Friday, February 29, 2008

Phenomenal Woman

Finally updating! Anyway, here's the poem I'm doing; I think we really need some more Maya Angelou on this page.

Phenomenal Woman (full text)

1. Angelou, Maya. "Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou." Poem Hunter.Com. 2008. 29 Feb. 2008 .

2. The poem is pretty self-explanatory. It's very 'I am woman- hear me roar!' The persona, which could be either Angelou or the every-woman, firts announced the fact she's "not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size," but throughout the rest of the poem the reader is left with a sense that she's young, gorgeous, and full of energy. The structure of the poem further emphasizes that point, because although it doesn't have a definate meter, the punctuation and sparatic rhyming really strongly suggest how the poem should be read--with grace and energy.

3. I ended up googling Maya Angelou because although it's been a couple of years since I've ready anything by her, I vaguely remember liking what I did read. Now, reapproching the poems with some basic literary knowledge, I absolutely adored this poem. I think a lot of it has to do with how strong her word choice and punctuation is, and how it adds to the poem's topic.

4. Now, with how much I love this poem, I feel the need to also confess my undying love for everything Plath. I did my first paper on Morning Song, which we read in class, and I think when you put the two poems next to eachother it makes them stand out even more. Both poems use punctuation to try to convey a mood; Plath's despaiir and cornacopia of periods, verses Angelou's strong meter and womanly pride. Content wise, Plath spends Morning Song commenting on how badly motherhood is draining here, while Angelou watches men fall at her feet. Both are uncommon thoughts among women, but the poets have really done a great job of making their themes these great, monumental things, and I think that's really important.


Melissa Kerrigan said...

I can't ever remember reading anything by her before, and I was blown away. This kind of empowerment is exactly what people of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors, etc. need. To not be afarid of yourself and love who you are is beautiful. I love the confidence this poem gives off. I am completly blown away by it!

Prof. L said...

Great Helen Reddy reference. Nice work with the poem, too.

Mrs. Bedwin said...

I also love this poem- Maya Angelous has incredible talent. I was taken back by the tone of this poem and was a bit inspired myself. The speaker of this poem is confident and almost seems a little sassy. I feel that a lot of the confidence and strength of this poem lies in the repitition of the lines, "I'm a woman/
Phenomenally/ Phenomenal woman
That's me. "

Kelly Flannery said...

Love this poem! The first time I read something by Maya Angelou was in high school. I read her book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." She always shows the powerful woman in her work.

Amy L said...

There is a poem of hers on my refrigerator at home and it has a picture of a woman standing on a beach with her arms wide I always liked the poem and the picture, but never really took time to analyze it until reading this blog. Her other works are very empowering and uplifting. This is exactly what we do need as women struggling in times of doubt and confusion.