Poetry is like music, it speaks to us in a way other things cannot. People reactions to a poem can contrast starkly. A person’s past experiences will influence whether a person feels uplifted, saddened, thoughtful, or numb after the reading of a poem. While people’s reactions can vary, there are still many poems out there that offer a similar message to most of those who read it. Below are some inspirational poems about women to revitalize you on your life’s journey.
List of Inspirational Poems on Women
1. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Most of the work of Maya Angelou features strong, powerful women. This poem is particularly potent for women who are faced with adversity. The repeating phrase of “I rise” emphasizes the strength and perseverance contained within women. Comparing her continual rise to natural events such as the tides or sunrise, one gets the sense that it is inevitable for her to succeed. Nothing will stop her.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my womanhood upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
2. Beautiful Women by Walt Whitman
Whitman was close to many women’s rights activists and is known for saying that society needed to destroy the image of a woman being a lady and rather see her as a woman. His admiration of women in all aspects was conveyed in many of his poems. This very short poem pays homage to be beauty that comes with age. The young are inherently beautiful, but the old develop an inner awareness them allows them to shine more beautifully.
WOMEN sit, or move to and fro—some old, some young;
The young are beautiful—but the old are more beauti-
ful than the young.
3. I am nobody by Emily Dickenson
At first read this poem seems to many to be a story of an outcast, but upon further examination one realizes that it is more about being yourself and not conforming to the ‘norms’ of society. This poem reminds you that you are not alone, there are other nobodies. Just being yourself means you can enjoy life rather than spend your days performing for entertainment and acceptance of others.
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
4. The Laughter of Women by Lisel Mueller
This poem declares the power of a woman’s laugh and likens it to the sound of freedom. In this poem a woman’s laughter brings truth, happiness, and peace. Laughter is occurs from joy and is infectious to those who hear it. This poem reminds readers the power of sharing joy.
The laughter of women sets fire
to the Halls of Injustice
and the false evidence burns
to a beautiful white lightness
It rattles the Chambers of Congress
and forces the windows wide open
so the fatuous speeches can fly out
The laughter of women wipes the mist
from the spectacles of the old;
it infects them with a happy flu
and they laugh as if they were young again
Prisoners held in underground cells
imagine that they see daylight
when they remember the laughter of women
It runs across water that divides,
and reconciles two unfriendly shores
like flares that signal the news to each other
What a language it is, the laughter of women,
high-flying and subversive.
Long before law and scripture
we heard the laughter, we understood freedom.
5. Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou embraces and celebrates all that makes her a woman in this poem. This acceptance brings an air of confidence about her which both intrigues those around her. People see what you show them. If you don’t feel comfortable it shows, but when you rejoice all the things that make you who you are then all people see is an infectious beauty built from confidence.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
The above is only a selection of some of the many inspirational poems about women that are out there. Try and find a few that really speak to you, write them down and put them in a place that you will see frequently. Continually reading the poems that inspire you will help you achieve success in other aspects of your life.