Monday, November 9, 2009

Phenomenal Woman

I'm not usually one of those people that's moved by poetry or things of that nature. Don't get me wrong - a lyric in a song or a line from my favorite book or movie will have a lasting impact on me, as many lines have already - but, I guess I'm not someone who quotes things that often. And I really don't have the attitude I should towards being a proud woman. Scratch that - I didn't...before this summer. I got married and the kids are on the way and I see the way my husband looks at my pregnant belly and how proud he is that I'm carrying these children. I take pride in the things I do as a woman all of a sudden.

This morning I was watching the Today show while I folded laundry and the editor of Glamour magazine was there, talking about the magazines list of the years most influencial women. The list included Michelle Obama, Amy Poehler, Serena Williams, and Maya Angelou, who was also there, on the today show. At the end of the segment she was asked to quote some of her poem, "Phenomenal Woman". Now I remember reading this poem in high school. I may have read it in junior high as well. I know I've read it plenty of times. And I'm sure many have you have as well. And at the time, I appreciated the poem for being written by someone I knew to be this big deal writter and poet. And I could appreciate that she was passionate in writting it. It's sincerity wasn't lost on me. But hearing it this morning; seeing the smile on Mrs. Angelou's face as she recited the poem with her eyes closed but with the most beautiful mannerisms, I, for the first time, felt really moved by the poem. And I immediately thought of my mom and stepmom and grandmother and my friends Betsy and Natalie and Christie, who are my peers and mothers, and my sisters, and my best friend, who spent the weekend helping her mother and sister open up their own interior design store, and I wanted to call them all to excitedly say "Turn on the tv!". But out of respect for these women I adore, I did not. Because it was kind of early.

So instead I'll post part of the poem here. And I hope that anyone that reads this, man or woman, appreciates the sentiment behind me posting it. I feel so lucky to know the vast amount of phenomenal women that I know. And behind so many phenomenal women, is a phenomenal man. So I certainly believe my dad, my husband, my brother, my best friends, deserve credit too :)

"Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's 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 step
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me."


  1. This is so good Maggie. You have motivated me to Youtube Ms. Angelou's readings. I need inspiration.


  2. isnt there just something about being a little bit older and wiser (perhaps its marriage) that really makes you proud to be a woman? it's nice to feel that way. and im glad you feel inspired! you often inspire me :)