ESL Video Quiz: syoneda: Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

Quiz by: Sharon Yoneda
Quiz #: 21680
(ESL Category: listening) /fe/ /nom/ /e/ /nal/: That is what she called us.

Phenomenal Woman

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

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

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

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 for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman

All you women, and me

poet: Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014. She was an American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer who published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

"Phenomenal Woman," by Dr, Angelou, is based on poet’s personal experiences intertwined with the social issues faced by minorities in general, although not unique to only Women and African-Americans – the topic often disregarded and unexplored by many. The important point made in this poem is that despite the discriminatory treatment, the strength and pride of the subject, Phenomenal Woman, builds and rises in all proportions from the venomous neglect she receives.

Fight on, says Dr. Angelou, for we are phenomenal.

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