Monday, February 4, 2008

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928- )

In celebration of Black History Month, I have decided to feature four poets whom I admire. I'll feature a different poet each week during the month of February. I love poetry and will post my favorites by each poet. Please remember that Black History is everyone's history.




Dr. Maya Angelou, a.k.a., Marguerite Johnson, is world renowned. She is a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She is a knowledgable and phenomenal woman. Here's my favorite poem by Dr. Angelou:
Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size
But when I start to tell them They think I'm telling lies.
I say It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman
That's me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me A hive of honey bees.
I say It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman
That's me. Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

26 comments:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Great idea, Tyhitia! That's a wonderful way to celebrate the month. I love this poem by Maya Angelou. It's very powerful and affirming.

Gwyneth

devonellington said...

Lovely tribute!

Charles Gramlich said...

Maya Angelou has a very nice way with rhythm in her poetry. It's not predictable, but inevitable. Didn't she write, "and still I rise?" That is a great piece.

The Anti-Wife said...

I can hear her reading this with that distinctive voice. She really is phenomenal.

Miladysa said...

DH - Thank you for introducing me to this astonishing poem and Maya Angelou for I have confess both are new to me.

I am sure it will not be the last time that I read her words :]

daydream said...

Wonderful poem with very energetic rhythm. I felt uplifted and not so sleepy. A great poem by a great poetess, who I must read.

Demon Hunter said...

Gwyneth,
Thanks! It's my favorite by her. :*)

Devon,
Thanks! :*)

Charles,
Yes, she does. She did write, "And Still I Rise."

Anti-Wife,
I love her voice! :*)

Miladysa,
You're welcome. Yes, you should read her work! :*)

Daydream,
Yes, you must read her! :*)

Don said...

Maya = one of The Great Ones.

Why did she have to go and back Hillary, though?! LOL!

Lana Gramlich said...

An awesome poem from a phenomenal woman. :)

Cora Zane said...

What a wonderful, powerful poem. I totally love that. It's a great motto...or even a theme...for women to hold in their hearts.

ChristineEldin said...

One of the few writers who literally gives me chills. I adore her.

Thanks for posting. I have never read this poem, but love the way her words sing.

Demon Hunter said...

Don,
Don't start. :*) She's a woman of color, and voting between Obama and Hillary is difficult for that population! :*)

Lana,
She's great, isn't she? :*)

Cora,
You're absolutely right! :*)

Chris,
I'm glad that I was the one who introduced you to it! :*)

Tempest Knight said...

I simply adore Ms. Angelou's poems. She is such a strong woman. I try to get my goddaughters to follow on her footsteps. :)

Josephine Damian said...

Don: Say it ain't so! Had no idea she was for Hillary.

Hmmmm....

Yes, agree with eveyone about Maya Angelou's voice being clearly heard in our minds when we read her words in print.

DH: thanks for sharing! I'm gonna print this out and stick it on my fridge.

Ello said...

I was here previously and read the poem and loved it. Didn't comment but now I just wanted to agree that it is a perfect poem for my blog. And interestingly enough this is also one of the reasons I too support Hillary! We need to remind women and girls that we are strong and powerful. Thanks for posting this!

Demon Hunter said...

Tempest,
Keep encouaging them! Dr. Angelou is great! :*)

Josie,
It's good to keep it handy, especially in this image crazy world! :*)

Ello,
You're welcome! I agree with you wholeheartedly that girls and women should be reminded of our power. We outnumber men, you know? ;*)

writtenwyrdd said...

Her poetry is wonderful, it's true. BTw, if you get cable or satellite, VH1 has been showing a great series of music history for Black history month.

writtenwyrdd said...

PS, Langston Hughes, another marvelous poet!

Rob Brooks said...

Little off-track here, but one of my favorite musicians, Ben Harper, has a song called "I'll Rise" based off of Maya Angelou's poem, and it's great. It's on one of his earlier (which = better) albums, Welcome to the Cruel World, I think. It's worth a listen.

Demon Hunter said...

Written,
You're right, Langston Hughes is one of the best. Actually, he's one of the poets I had already decided to feature! :*)

Rob,
Cool. I'll have to check that out. Good to see you're back! :*)

Naomi said...

LOVE that poem!

Angelia... said...

Phenomenal Poetry...

blessings,
angelia

Bernita said...

A lovely lady.

Demon Hunter said...

Naomi,
Me too! :*)

Angelia,
It is, isn't it? :*)

Bernita,
That she is! :*)

shelia said...

You get a standing ovation for this post.

Demon Hunter said...

Sheila,
Thank you so much! This is such an important poem, ya know? Especially in our world today! :*)