Phenomenal Women

“The house does not rest upon the ground, but upon a woman.” ~ Mexican Proverb

I read this and had to chuckle as it is either a statement of profound wisdom or a proclamation made by the Mexican Ambassador to the Lollipop Guild upon seeing the legs and red shoes of the Wicked Witch of the East. Seriously, though, I do feel that women play an important role in the development of nest of home and the heart of any successful business.

Sitting by the fire yesterday evening after having put my sons to bed I found myself reminiscing about the days of my youth. I recalled the great challenge faced by young women my age in high school, namely, that it wasn’t “cool” to get good grades or to appear too smart. How tragic! I don’t know if that paradigm persists, but it certainly placed an artificial limitation on what could have been achieved in school by many who subscribed to that policy.

I am equally thankful for the men and women in my life. Father and mother. Aunts and uncles. Girlfriends and guy friends. All of them made important contributions to the rich nest of home that served as an introduction to me of love and truth.

That said, there were and are certain women I have and continue to be privileged to know. My mother. My childhood girlfriends. My teachers, counselors and professors. Co-workers. My mother-in-law. My wife. Truly phenomenal women. Dedicated. Passionate. Intelligent. Beautiful. Diligent. Devoted. Fearless.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Maya Angelou‘s rhythmic verse describing women, you’re in for a real treat.

Phenomenal Woman, by Maya Angelou

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 of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I would love to hear from you as to what makes a woman a phenomenal woman in your eyes!

11 thoughts on “Phenomenal Women

  • this is a great poem – i have a number of women i will share it with today!
    one thing i admire, in a few particular women i know, is the desire and courage to always look for ways of providing more – on top of what they already do – it amazes me at times.
    thanks for the reminder of the many things the women in my life provide!

  • Hi Gregg, Thanks for a great post today, what a fine
    reminder of the importance of a good women in ones life. One common
    characteristic of the phenomenal women in my life is an ability to
    encompass a wide variety of tasks with ease, could we call it
    dynamism? It was perfect timing for me, not only as 5 of my 7 on my
    team are women, but also one specifically has showed particular
    prowess in 2010, has been an engine for our growth and yesterday
    got a significant promotion within my organization. Looking forward
    to a great 2011 and beyond, thanks for another timely post. James

  • Phenomenal poem! I love her confidence. Truly who doesn’t
    love a woman who knows the value of her own radiance and puts that
    above any external standard of beauty. It can’t be faked. How
    unfortunate for those girls you mentioned, and for any one who
    would diminish their own light due to external pressure or lack of
    a phenomenal role model. Thank you for sharing this post!

  • This poem would be an excellent piece to analyze with both
    young women and young men in high school and college lit classes.
    It is empowering!

  • I have a deep appreciation for all the women in my life as
    well, past and present! They taught me many of the things in my
    life that I rely on to this day. I will have to share this post,
    and especially this poem, with them.

  • I have always appreciated, what seems to be an innate ability that women tend to have at just “Being”. It is as though when all sort’s of external chaos could be on the move they have the ability to abide in a place of safety within themselves and provide that womb for others also, piercing through the worlds uncertainty and generating a safe surround, at ease. Greatly appreciate what the women of my life have provided in guidance,
    Thanks for this reminder today, I’ll be certain to pass my appreciation along to the women in my life today and all the days to come!

  • Love the new look of your blog.
    Thanks so much for highlighting another remarkable poem by Ms Angelou.
    When I think of the phenomenal women I have known it occurs to me that they have discovered their purpose in life. Their lives seem distinguished by confidence,humbleness,appreciation and I think most of all forgiveness.

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