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Poetry - Women and Men


Maya Angelou (1928-2014), Phenomenal Woman (1978)Poetry - Women and Men 

The American poet (pictured right) comments on her strength of will as “phenomenal woman” whose spirit triumphs over her looks and circumstances:


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.

(first verse)



On A Tired Housewife (poet unknown)

A housewife sees death as an escape from her exhausting daily chores:


Here lies a poor woman who was always tired,

She lived in a house where help wasn't hired:

Her last words on earth were: 'Dear friends, I am going

To where there's no cooking, or washing, or sewing,

For everything there is exact to my wishes,

For where they don't eat there's no washing of dishes.

I'll be where loud anthems will always be ringing,

But having no voice I'll be quit of the singing.

Don't mourn for me now, don't mourn for me never,

I am going to do nothing for ever and ever.'

(complete poem)



Wendy Cope (1945- ), Bloody Men (1987)Poetry - Women and Men 

The English poet (pictured right) has a humorous swipe at men:


Bloody men are like bloody buses -

You wait for about a year

And as soon as one approaches your stop

Two or three others appear.

(first verse)

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