Ain't I a Woman!

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Ain't I a Woman!

by Maya Angelou

That man over there say
a woman needs to be helped into carriages
and lifted over ditches
and to have the best place everywhere.
Nobody ever helped me into carriages
or over mud puddles
or gives me a best place...

And ain't I a woman?
Look at me
Look at my arm!
I have plowed and planted
and gathered into barns
and no man could head me...
And ain't I a woman?
I could work as much
and eat as much as a man--
when I could get to it--
and bear the lash as well
And ain't I a woman?
I have born 13 children
and seen most all sold into slavery
and when I cried out a mother's grief
none but Jesus heard me...
and ain't I a woman?
that little man in black there say
a woman can't have as much rights as a man
cause Christ wasn't a woman
Where did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman!
Man had nothing to do with him!
If the first woman God ever made
was strong enough to turn the world
upside down, all alone
together women ought to be able to turn it
rightside up again.

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Miscellany


Other poems by Maya Angelou (read randomly)


A last love,
proper in conclusion,
should snip the wings

She came home running
back to the mothering blackness
deep in the smothering blackness

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,

There are some nights when
sleep plays coy,
aloof and disdainful.

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home

When love is a shimmering curtain
Before a door of chance
That leads to a world in question

When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s siz …
But when I start to tell them,

We die,
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets,
Stranglers to our outstretched necks,

The eye follows, the land
Slips upward, creases down, forms
The gentle buttocks of a young

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