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Strengths of a Woman Through the Looking Glass with Maya Angelou’s Poem “Phenomenal Woman”.
As we go through life, we have many experiences such as reading poetry. It may not be fun all the time, but it is one of those things that, whether we can admit it or not, is a good experience for all of us. To write good poetry authors try to write what they know. Some write about experiences they have had, some write about how they were brought up, and some write about what they like or dislike. Maya Angelou uses these things in “Phenomenal Woman”. The poem not only shows her upbringing but also comes from life experiences and her own likes and dislikes.
Maya Angelou, born April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, was raised in segregated rural Arkansas. Angelou and her brother lived with their grandmother. She married an American freedom fighter and lived in Cairo, where she was editor of The Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East (Schafer 1).
Maya grew up during The Great Depression and she suffered the brunt of segregation. “She was the first black and first woman street car conductor in San Francisco (during WWII).” Maya took a big part in the civil rights movement because of what she suffered while growing up. “In 1960-1961, she was asked by Martin Luther King Jr. to be the northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” (Donegal 1). These are a few of the things that she experienced in life that help her to write meaningful poetry such as “Phenomenal Woman”. She got strength from growing up during a racially segregated time and working with strong individuals. We can see this strength through what she has accomplished thus far in her life.
Some of the poetry Angelou has written is “Still I Rise”, “Men”, “Remembrance”, “A Conceit”, “Touched by an Angel”, “Refusal”, and “The Lesson” (Al...
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