The Teacher

Via: Daily Prompt – Swarm

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I always loved the words. I was a voracious reader as a child. But it was Mrs. Anger, my ninth grade Language Arts teacher who taught me to keep a journal and start writing. We had to use those hardcover composition books, the Marble ones? Mrs. Anger was as volatile as her name. Or at least she affected to be. She once told me, pulling off her spectacles, that her eyes changed colors according to her moods. She meant to say her mood was capricious. All because I wore a mood ring and showed her how cool it was. Mrs. Anger was fabulous. 

She also introduced me to some wonderful literature. In fact, I think I learned to distinguish the classics because of her. We watched Dead Poet Society in her class and had to do a movie review. It was my first movie review and I was so mesmerized by the movie, I kept forgetting to keep notes. But I could tell Mrs. Anger was always aiming to channel the spirit of John Keating. She about had it right.

Mrs. Anger would roster the months according to different mediums, genres, and themes. It would be Little Women one month, then Uncle Tom’s Cabin the next. She would pull at her hair trying to make us comprehend the subtle passion of A Streetcar Named Desire and we’d try to comfort her, “We get it, we get it!” We experienced a kaleidoscope of North American literature in her class.

Poetry Month was particularly versatile. If we didn’t express the proper sentiments for Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, we had to take remedial. It was like spot check on emotions on the third floor of I.S. 237 that month. But poetry month was also the most entertaining, as we had to enact what we read. My classmates brought the weirdest props for the class recitals. Boys stuffed their sweatshirts with oranges to play the roles of female protagonists while girls wore wreaths of papercut snowflakes on their head to portray winter.

Even better, it was the month I was introduced to two of the best poems I have ever experienced in my life. In fact, this blog site was originally dubbed “Phenomenal Demonstrative” as a conjunction of the titles of those poems, First Person Demonstrative by Phyllis Gotlieb and Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.

Which brings me to today’s prompt word. Enjoy…

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
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.

I, at least, will never forget how Mrs. Anger made me feel. She was bloody phenomenal!

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  1. #1 by viewsplash on March 7, 2017 - 12:00 am

    Great poem!

    • #2 by lupa08 on March 7, 2017 - 12:15 am

      Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. #3 by fantasticpencils on March 7, 2017 - 9:23 pm

    Great blog. Some of our teachers are ‘phenomenal’ – Miss Warren (Maths); Miss Sproule (Latin); Miss Mallard (History) and so on. I wish I’d had some way of telling them what they had given me! As an ex-prof myself, I can only hope I gave a few pupils some of the same inspiration.

    • #4 by lupa08 on March 7, 2017 - 9:46 pm

      Thanks! I tried looking up Mrs. Anger online to no luck. I live on a different continent so I cannot physically go out and look for her. So this is my way of throwing my gratitude out there, in case someone connected to I.S. 237 stumbles across it and is able to send it her way.
      With regards to inspiring your former students, if your heart was in the right place, I’m sure you have 😊

  3. #5 by giflrh@gmail.com on March 22, 2017 - 1:57 pm

    Good blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    • #6 by lupa08 on March 22, 2017 - 2:11 pm

      Thank you! I really appreciate the compliment and am happy to learn you enjoyed my writing. Do drop by again 😊

  4. #7 by foxpineshomestead on March 29, 2017 - 3:43 am

    I love Maya Angelou too! I can hear her voice reading the words. Thank you!

    • #8 by lupa08 on March 29, 2017 - 8:55 am

      Thank you for reading!

  1. WRITING CHRONICLE #21: The Liebster Blog Award | The Romantic Quill

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