Just why my head’s not bowed…

Tomorrow, I’ll be closing registration for this Sunday’s Secret Adventure for Courageous Women. (I still have a couple of spots if you’re tempted – but sign ups end tomorrow night.)

Then I’m heading to Chattanooga for a planning retreat with the Tennessee Economic Council on Women. By Sunday night, I’ll be Tired but Inspired after so many days in the company of Phenomenal Women.

Just thinking about that — on top of last weekend spent with my Phenomenal Grandmother :) — brought to mind one of my favorite poems. I shared this on one of our previous Adventures, and thought you might like it too.

Read this out loud to yourself. Slowly. Clearly. 

Then read it again.

This is for You. 

Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou


 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.


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 in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman


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



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 of my care,

‘Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.



I shared this poem with the Courageous Women who joined me for our Secret Adventure back in May. Maya Angelou has been another one of my very favorites, ever since I first discovered her in a Black Literature class in college. She has quite a story herself, which you can learn about in her book,  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

And she has a powerful Presence. Click here to hear her read this work herself.

She adds a little extra to the end that is Perfect!!

What about you?

Who’s your favorite Phenomenal Woman?





Photo Credit by adria.richards on Flikr


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