A Woman Should Have By Maya Angelou - Poetry & Poets (2024)

Maya Angelou’s poem titled ‘A Woman Should Have’ is an unequivocal statement about the feelings of empowerment and self-worth. It provides an inspiring message of self-love and motivation to women, young and old alike. Angelou’s strong words and vivid imagery drives home the point that a woman should be treated respectfully and with dignity, regardless of her age or financial status. A woman should not only possess a sense of self-worth, but must also jealously guard that worth through assurance of her strength and intelligence.

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1. Financial Independence

3. Reaching for the Stars

4. Having Pleasant Thoughts

The poem begins with the mandating line “A woman should have…” thus conveying its sense of authority for the underlying message that follows. The words “dignity and maximum” are used to symbolically reinforce the strong presence of a woman in society. The sarcasm of the poem is highlighted by lines such as “enough money to travel and buy smart clothes”. This line is meant to expose the lack of social opportunities provided to women and is accompanied with the empowering line “the face to meet a stare without barriers”.

Bemusingly, the third stanza of the poem seems to contradict the previous two in its especial focus on financial status. Angelou reminds woman not just to have money but also to use it wisely and to remember that money cannot buy “peace, nor love”. She emphasizes the importance of having pleasant thoughts and a solace in oneself. These serve as refuges of happiness and satisfaction which comes not from money “but from within”.

The poem is emphatic in its support for the woman’s right to be “powerful beyond measure”. Angelou provides the empowering reminder that a woman does not have to depend on anyone for security. Instead, she must have the confidence to “reach for the stars” and explore her true capabilities. This incorporates the idea that the modern woman isn’t bound by the constraints of social conventions and is capable of achieving greatness if given the opportunity to do so.

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The last stanza of the poem is an arresting call to action to the female population of the world. It asks them to have an awareness of the great potential of their inner strength and to take courage to stand up for their own rights as proud, powerful women.

Financial Independence

Angelou’s poem stresses the importance of financial independence among women. This is done by highlighting the need to have “enough money to travel and buy smart clothes”. However, it goes on to quote the wisdom that “money cannot buy peace, nor love”. This means money cannot buy happiness and is merely a hollow form of security. Angelou stresses the importance that real security, satisfaction and happiness comes from within and not from external sources.

Moreover, the poem emphasizes the importance of saving money and smart financial decisions. The poem implies the importance of being wise with one’s hard-earned money and urges women not to deplete all their financial resources in one transaction. Furthermore, having financial independence means, women have the security to make decisions independently. Financial independence helps remove stereotypes, strengthens their sense of self-assertion and independence, as well as enhance their overall life-quality.

Angelou’s poem therefore sends a powerful message about the importance of financial independence among women. It firmly reinforces the self-assertion and independence of women by emphasizing that money can not only provide security but also freedom to make decisions independently and fearlessly. Finally, it expounds the idea that financial independence is an imperative ingredient of a fulfilling life.

Standing Up for Yourself

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Angelou’s poem not only provides an accurate portrayal of a woman with financial independence, but also highlights the importance of “the face to meet a stare without barriers”. This means that the woman should be able to stand up for herself and converse without any fear. This is an empowering reminder to women that they don’t have to depend on anyone for security.

Women should also be able to stand up against any injustice they may experience. They should be aware of the issues they face and speak up against them, even if that means standing alone and voicing dissension. Maya Angelou’s poem bolsters women to accept and embrace their power and autonomous will by exhorting women to “rise” against any unjust action.

This is much needed in society today, where women are often taken for granted and many basic rights become overshadowed in favor of what is deemed “acceptable” or “socially appropriate”. By standing up for their rights, women can redefine their place in society, therefore transforming their sense of empowerment and self-respect.

At the same time, Angelou’s poem also serves to compel women to have the faith and confidence that their actions can make a difference in the world. The poem urges women to be confident and unafraid to realize their capability of achieving major accomplishments, be it in politics, technology or sports, etc.

Reaching for the Stars

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The last stanza of the poem speaks to women about their immense strength and unyielding power. Angelou’s words urge woman to comprehend the entire scope of their potential, and to stretch their capacity beyond the known.

Through the poem, Angelou encourages women to dream big and reach for the stars, in anyone they are interested in and envision a bigger picture of success and achievement that they dream of. It also serves as a reminder that their potential shall not remain idle and they are capable of achieving extraordinary feats if they persistently work towards it.

At the same time, Angelou’s poem has a distinct empowering message to all the women around the world. It signifies that each woman has a purpose in life and should have the courage to take risks and not doubt her ambitions.

It calls for women to break the boundaries of traditional norms and break away from molds of societal expectations and thrive in the moment. Women should be aware of their own power to alter the world and drive change for the betterment of society and for her own personal growth.

Having Pleasant Thoughts

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Angelou’s lines remind woman to stay positive and to have pleasant thoughts that serve as refuges of serenity. This sends a positive message that women should stay confident and should “accept the past to suffice”.

The poem is also invigorating in its finding of strength and courage within oneself, as women should look to family and friends for “comfort and joy” and not get caught up in the laity of life. Angelou’s words serve to buoy and inspire woman to reignite the passion of old and acquire a better understanding of the purpose of life by having a content and joyous inner self.

Furthermore, the poem’s supportive message serves to foster a secure environment and help women combat any mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, through providing soothing living conditions that help women relax and unwind.

It also urges women to believe in themselves and perceive success through passion and not through superficial means such as money or physical appearance. Angelou’s words serve to alleviate internal suffering and surrender to the idea of true mind satisfaction and peaceful living through embracing harmony and stability.

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In conclusion, Angelou’s poem ‘A Woman Should Have’ is a powerful reminder for all women to take ownership of their power and courage and strive to achieve higher goals and ambitions with the resolute conviction that they are sufficiently mighty to do so.

A Woman Should Have By Maya Angelou - Poetry & Poets (2024)


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