Phenomenal Woman –
Celebrating International Women’s Day

by Sigourney Young

International Women’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year and I am forever thinking up amazing projects that I could do to celebrate, and then falling short when it gets to crunch time. In that way, it’s also one of my least favourite days of the year. It makes me feel like I haven’t done enough, and that I haven’t done justice to the wonderful women I admire.

March 8 makes me want to create something profound. To make and share something that captures my experience of womanhood and the women that influence it. This year I am releasing myself of that pressure. Instead, I want to share a poem that speaks for itself.

My favourite way to hear this poem is the video below. As Maya reads I am overcome with the unique cadence of her voice and the distinct colours that come through in her reading. I see purples and magentas of all types, hints of blue on the lows and oranges and yellows on the warm highs.

Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman is beautiful and effective. Listen to it, read it, and let yourself soak in it.


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

Sigourney xo

March 8, 2019



  1. New to the archive - March 2019 - Synesthesia Art - […] History Month around the world and we started off with blogs celebrating women in history and International Women’s Day.…

I’m Sigourney

I’m a synesthesia artist that will be forever found with paint on my nose, dancing around the studio in my yoga pants. I love travel, gluten-free brownies and working from the home studio I share with my husband. My goal? To bring you into the world of synesthesia and to create a space online that celebrates the colour and meaning of music.

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