I believed early in life that I would not amount to much, stupid, fat and like water being soaked up in a sponge, I focused on the negative and not the positive. The tone of the poem is that of a strong, confident woman who does not bother what people think about her. Epiphora is the repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. Maya Angelou tries to reveal the mystery but the myopic men fail to see it. She tells the listener that it should now be clear just why she does not bow her head—she is not ashamed of who she is.
Her arch of the back, her glorious smile, rhyming motion of her breasts remains a jigsaw and single-minded men will never find the final piece of this jigsaw. One is able to appreciate the poem even further, by analyzing…. This firmness, this confidence makes her a phenomenal woman who refuses to mould herself according to male desire. Here the poet has personified her feet to indicate the happy composure she is in when she is around men. She is not nervous about the way she looks. She was not afraid of speaking in public, she used to do so to help others that were the victims of discrimination. They then swarm around her, vying for her attention.
She says that people desire, or rather, need her for her caring and gentle nature. The poet says that the reason why men are attracted to her is in her eyes, her teeth, her waist, and her feet. Her first memoir, , was the first U. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. This multi-talented woman is not only an award-winning author and poet, but also an actress, screenwriter, dancer, and civil rights activist Maya par 2.
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. Such honesty of her appearance exudes tremendous confidence which makes men go Every time she enters the room, she becomes the cynosure of present contingent of men. Based on the poem's use of the first person, the reader may assume that the speaker is , describing her personal experiences. The poem seems to be like a liberated women, it is free from any norms, poetic norms especially. Instead, she provides a number of arguments to prove that she is a Phenomenal Woman without such elements. Maya Angelou tries to reveal the mystery but the myopic men fail to see it.
All of these things have happened in her life because she is a phenomenal woman and is proud of it, marching to the beat of her own drum. The stanzas continue by developing the persona. This ordinary looking woman sparks a desire in them and they fail to pin down the reason. She describes her secret saying that it comes from her confidence, the way she stretches her arms, the way she walks, the rhythm of her hips and also the way she smiles. She has experienced racial discrimination, rape and oppression in America.
This audacity of thought, this proud claim, this supreme confidence makes her a phenomenal woman. She indicates to them that her mystery is not obscure but clearly expressed in her body language from the curve of her back, to her smile and rhythm of her bosom. It is in the way she wears her hair with a bend in the locks. They cannot stand the idea of totality. Angelous says she is actually trying to show them what this mystery is but they are not able to see it. The third stanza is about men that are actually wondering themselves why they behave in a way presented above whenever they see the persona.
The flash indicates light, suggesting shiny white teeth that glisten when she smiles. Thus phenomenal woman means an extraordinary or stunning woman. Being an African-American, she had faced immense racial discrimination, but never left her hopes and faith in her tradition and community. Try as they can, they cannot touch the enigmatic element in her. Maya Angelou tries to reveal the mystery but the myopic men fail to see it. The speaker then illustrates through figurative language how these men circle her like bees, as if she is sweet like honey. Imagery in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to his or her work.
It lies in the flash candour of her teeth. The repeated proud assertion of being a phenomenal woman is a celebration of womanhood. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. Second stanza: But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. Key Thoughts The poem thus challenges the traditional concept of beauty which is totally dependent on the fairness of skin.