A Phenomenal Woman

I am sure a lot of people are writing and sharing about Maya Angelou today, yesterday, and in the coming weeks. She deserves the fanfare. A stellar woman, with so much poise, brilliance, and badassness. The Internet is buzzing with her quotes, thoughts about her life, and how she inspired millions upon millions of people in the course of her life. I love, love, love her last tweet:

Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.  11:43 AM – 23 May 2014

I wonder what was going through her thoughts, if she was coherent, if she was so closely talking to God. Regardless, she shared such wisdom with the world, and we are all the better for it.

One of my all time favorite Maya Angelou poems is: “Phenomenal Woman.” In case you have not read it, it still brings tears to my eyes. I think I first read it in college. It was one of those poems that I instantly memorized and often has come back to my thoughts. I often wonder if it was the first time that I actually thought about the idea of a woman being “phenomenal.” Sad, but true. Here is the first verse, but I encourage you to click the above link and read the entire poem.

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 only hope that we can continue to raise our girls to know they are phenomenal — whatever their age, background, or disposition. Here is also a past blog post with another favorite Maya Angelou quote.

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