From the essay "The Phenomenon of Natural Beauty: Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” it is clear, that this poem is divided into four parts, with each stanza capped by the reaffirmation of the poem’s persona’s remarkable nature: “I'm a woman/Phenomenally./Phenomenal woman,/That's me.” The first stanza discusses her relation to other women, the second introduces her dealings with men in groups, the third stanza highlights her relations with male admirers as individuals, and the final stanza expresses her relationship to the world, expressed through the use of the second person, as she addresses the reader as “you.” In every case, viewers know that there is something quite special about the phenomenal woman, but, given their limited worldview as dictated by current ideals of womanhood, they cannot understand what it is. Therefore, Angelou uses the chorus, repeating the words “phenomenon” and “woman,” to establish that it is actually the natural expression of the feminine principle that becomes remarkable, especially because it is so rarely expressed as she expresses it. This may not be immediately apparent to the observer, who questions its cause (one meaning of the word “phenomenon”), but its veracity is nevertheless verifiable through many examples provided in each stanza. The antecedent scenario of this poem can be understood as the experience of Maya Angelou and other women who do not fit into the narrow confines of conventional beauty but have learned to love themselves and express true beauty despite the opinions of others.
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The essay tells about the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou. It is a powerful statement about the possibilities inherent in being a woman with faith in herself. Angelou, one of the foremost living poets today, is known for her work with the themes of women’s issues. …
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Being “cool”, which connotes men’s composure just by simply being himself, is a word almost always attached to men. “Beautiful” or the need to be “phenomenal” to women to be noticed are words commonly associated with women.
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