Repeat After Me

Some days I am full of self doubt and can’t find a nice thing to say about myself (those days are generally that one week before my period when all my hormones are all out of whack), but what brings me back to center is a poem by the amazingly talented Maya Angelou that, in my opinion, all women should know and memorize by heart: Phenomenal Woman.

A good friend of mine gave me this poem in a letter when I was 17 years old and it has become not just a poem to me but a mantra that has seen me through some dark times and insecure moments. I thank God for writers who have give words to my emotions, who have put my thoughts in a clear order and shed light on my path.

So, repeat after me, “I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me!”

‘Phenomenal Woman’ by 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.