Legendary poet Dr. Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.

According to Fox News, Angelou’s publicist Helen Brann said she was found unresponsive by her caretaker on Wednesday morning. Angelou was reportedly suffering from several health problems this year.

Her sudden death has made many take a step back and remember the role she had in lives. The renowned author had impacted the lives of anyone who ever picked up one of her books, read one of her poems or listened to her speeches. Her role as a civil rights activist will continue to have an effect on the world. And as a woman, her drive to empower females is something that has stayed with many of us here at Haute Talk.

maya angelou dead

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For us, one of her most moving poems “Phenomenal Woman” sums up exactly how Angelou was able to use words to change perspectives. The poem is about self-confidence and finding beauty in not what you look like, but rather in your inner-self and carrying that confidence to the outside world. Angelou expresses happiness in just being the woman she is, and we think it’s definitely an important piece that should be read by all women.

Below is the poem. Please read it and share your comments and thoughts with us.

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
Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
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 for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 

Michelle Manetti is a graduate of Pace University and has a degree in Communication Studies with a concentration of Media Studies. She met Marc Jacobs in an elevator once. She also believes that yoga, Liquiteria and a Hunter Thompson book could save the world.

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