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Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women Hardcover – January 17, 1995
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From Library Journal
Angelou is riding high. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is back on the best sellers lists after 20 years, and her inaugural poem, On the Pulse of Morning, has sold 40,000 copies in hardcover and 350,000 in paperback. This work collects four poems on women that are much in demand at Angelou's packed readings.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Still I Rise
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®
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Top Customer Reviews
Although the book goes in a different order when reading, I would like to begin with “Our Grandmothers” to set the foundation connecting history to the present. This poem told the story of generations of women that faced adversities in order to save and support their children. I believe this poem demonstrates how grandmothers and mothers are a critical asset to the family. It briefly begins with the scene of a mother enslaved en route to save her children knowing that she would be the sacrifice for their freedom. It further names great African-American women who came before us, who sacrificed and laid down a foundation of strength, which allowed many of us to be here today. It finally connects the dots to the “grandmothers” and adversities we see in today’s generation; still yet these women are being an angel to their families, even though they struggle to provide in a time and age where the “system” is still against them.
The poem “Weekend Glory” is definitely a must read because in today’s society, we see young women with a lack of priorities. These young ladies would rather flaunt and impress people while living above their means than conduct themselves as ladies. They struggle with low self-esteem and insecurities that they “bandage” with fancy cars, clothing, and glamour while still being unhappy. This poem can definitely teach young women how to strive for more, have priorities, and still have fun.
This collection of poems should also be purchase because it helps young women to build a strong identity no matter what society says or try to do to break them down. In the poem “Still I Rise”, Maya demonstrates with her powerful voice no matter what is thrown your way, said, or physically/mentally breaks you down, you will still rise and overcome. I believe this poem is also very important due to what is going on in current society with the killing of innocent black men, women, boys and girls. This poem was referred to as the “Black Anthem” by writer Hermene Hartman in 2014. This poem still applies to today’s complications in which Maya fought so hard to resolve before her death. This poem teaches us to persevere, be patient, strong, and continue to be the hopes and dreams of our ancestors.
In closing, the final poem, “Phenomenal Woman” is my favorite because it taught me no matter how different I am, to appreciate and embrace my differences because it makes me unique. This poem is what allowed me to be open with myself and build my own foundation. I love myself for the country, tall, skinny, kinky hair QUEEN that I am.
This is a book for all women to pass down from generation to generation, and yet the words of this book remains as powerful and meaningful as when they were first written by our dear beloved Maya Angelou. So of course, I recommend the purchasing of this collection.
Especially great if you need to reassure yourself that your self-worth isn't tied to what you own or your circumstances. I found it particularly refreshing and soul-lifting. I only wish it had more poems. I felt like it finished just when the momentum was building.
If anyone gets a chance - see the movie How to Make an American Quilt with Wynona Ryder. Maya is one of the stars and tells her life story. It's a beautiful film, very female oriented and gives some insight into the lives of very different women and how they became what they are presently.