Does my sassiness upset you?

“Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.”

— Maya Angelou circa 1978 (its my favorite thing to say, yessss that bit right there…Does something to my soul!)


Dr. Maya Angelou is my SHEro.

Unmistakably, one of the most influential voices of our time. She is a beautiful and celebrated poet, author, educator, dramatist, playwright, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, philanthropist, and civil rights activist.

In a nutshell,  she is EVERYTHING!


Her poetry takes me places that seem familiar, relative, and on a high that I don’t ever want to come down from.
With so many books, speeches, and poems under her belt, it’s hard to pick a favorite,  but for the sake of this post, I’ll settle on this. 

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
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 for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

Thanks for reading!
Peace and love,

  1. I love the “I say
    It’s in the reach of my….”
    Did you know she was raped when she was 9 and stopped talking until a white lady made it a point to keep reading to her?

    • Yes! I learned that when I was a young girl. Everthing about her fascinated me, but nothing more than the freedom within that she accomplished. It’s the thing I most identify with. That liberation.

      Thanks for reading..

  2. Outside of an Easter speech, this Maya Angelou poem is the first one I ever learned to deliver. It is every Black girls first theme song. I’ve read almost everything she’s published, which is autobiographical. I am often amazed at all the lives she’s lived in a single life time. Then I’m inspired, knowing no matter what choices I make today I can choose differently tomorrow. It’s one of the most beautiful lessons I think I’ve ever learned. Thank you for sharing.

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