Phenomenal Woman

“It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.”

                   Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

It is a year next week since Maya Angelou died. Born into a tempestuous marriage, raped at eight-years-old by her mother’s boyfriend, a mother herself by 17, Maya went on to become, at various stages, a performer, a prostitute, a car mechanic, a waitress, a poet and writer, a newspaper editor, a film director, and a civil rights activist. She was a friend and confidant of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and read at the inauguration of Bill Clinton. What some people achieve in one lifetime is remarkable.

Phenomenal Woman is Angelou’s stunning homage to herself and a celebration of her beauty and ability to captivate, despite not being “cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.” It’s a rallying cry for the gorgeousness of tall, broad women everywhere! Her reading of the poem never fails to make my spine tingle and it’s worth listening till the end just to hear the spirit and joy with which she delivers the final line.



18 thoughts on “Phenomenal Woman

  1. This is a beautiful image and the words for Maya fit it perfectly. I met Maya once, I was about 12 and she was friends of my parents neighbour. She came to stay for the summer and I can remember sitting at the garden fence and talking to ‘the lady staying next door’ She was nice, friendly, talked to me like I was a grown-up not a little kid. I was 12 though, and I knew she was ‘someone’ but I didn’t really know who…. I look back on that memory now as something very precious. She was just the lady at the fence and I was just a little girl she was chatting to.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love listening to Maya Angelou read her work aloud. There is so much more there when you hear it in her voice.

    *You*are a phenomenal woman as well, and this photo is gorgeous. I love the negative space created by the angles and curves of your body, highlighting the gorgeous wallpaper behind you. There is something about the dark paper contrasted with your fair skin that is electric. Really gorgeous photo!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.