"Phenomenal Woman" (Femme Phénoménale) de Maya ANGELOU

Très beau poème de Maya Angelou, écrivaine, poète, essayiste, actrice, professeure d'université, scénariste, productrice, documentariste et militante américaine pour les droits civiques.


Texte en version originale ci-après.


J'ai trouvé différentes traductions en français, mais aucune ne m'a semblé traduire suffisamment la puissance de ses mots ... surtout quand elle le récite elle-même.

Je vous laisse donc libre de trouver celle qui vous convient le mieux.


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.

Maya Angelou at New York’s Village Vanguard in the late 1950s. Photo by G. Marshall Wilson.