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Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

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Essay title: Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman is very lyrical, as are many of her poems. This may have been influence by her career as a dance and Broadway actress. The character in this poem is a strong, confident woman. The woman described shares many of the same qualities as Angelou. Angelou is an imposing woman, at least six feet tall. She has a strong personality and a compelling presence as defined in this poem. Angelou uses imagery to give the reader a sense of what the character looks like. She states, “I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.” Furthermore, she lists more strengthening characteristics, “The curl of my lips…/ It’s in the fire in my eyes…/The sun of my smile…/ The need for my care.” In the second stanza Angelou uses a metaphor. “Then they swam around me, / A hive of honey bees”. This refers to the men who have surrounded her as she enters a room. She uses such imagery so that the proud, confident characteristics can be better understood.

Maya Angelou uses repetition in this poem to stress certain phrases. An example of this is, “I’m a woman/ Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / That’s me.” Angelou also uses repetitiveness in the structure of her poem. The persona says that pretty women ask her what her secret is and she tells them by listing her qualities. She walks into a room and gathers attention and tells the reader why by listing her qualities. She says that men even wonder why

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