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Close Reading of a Poem

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Essay title: Close Reading of a Poem

Literature in Society/ ENG125

"Phenomenal Woman"

Pretty woman wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to fit 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.

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 the arch of my back

The sun in 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,

I ought to make you proud

I say,

It's the click of my heals,

The bend of my hair,

The need for my care.

'Cause I'm a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

For my close reading of a poem, I chose Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Women”. I chose the poem because it is one of my all time favorites. I love this poem because it expresses a woman’s inner self. Dr. Angelou wrote this poem to express her thought, of how

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