Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Empowerment

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. 
Unfold your own myth.” 
― Rumi

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"Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, 
teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
― Marianne Williamson, "A Course in Miracles"

"The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources.  
"To do work with power."
Empowering Quotes by Inspirational Women | Of Mercer Blog

Midweek Motif ~  Empowerment

I developed this empowerment motif because it's women's history month. While researching it, I discovered that most places in the world have initiatives for the empowerment of social groups such as people of color, youth, women, gender and sexual diversities, and the aging, the disabled, etc. Empowerment is also a huge goal for individuals. Of course, initiatives exist because of ongoing dis-empowerment.  We seek solutions.

Related image
(Forgive me for using this without permission.)

At what are you empowered?  
What has contributed most to your empowerment?  
Where would you like to see more (or less) empowerment?

Your Challenge:  Write a new and strong empowerment poem. (Though I focus on women below, you need not focus on women in your poem.)

Won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

They shut me up in Prose – (445)
They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me “still”   –

Still! Could themself have peeped –
And seen my Brain – go round –
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason – in the Pound –

Himself has but to will
And easy as a Star
Look down upon Captivity –
And laugh – No more have I –

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
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

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
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
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Solitude.)


  1. Good morning, Poets United! I'll be with you for a few hours and will then return this evening, after going to the theatre with a friend. For me, this is the perfect empowering first day of spring with poetry and a play! Have a good day.

  2. Good Morning poets, YES! this post is good for me. Have a nice day.

    MUCH LOVE...

  3. Oh how I love Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman! Thanks for the wonderful prompt today, Susan. Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday!

    1. Yes, I've needed the Phenomenal example! Have a good week, partner poet.

  4. Empowerment is the entire journey, as we throw off the bonds of oppression. Happy first day of spring. Here we have tumbled straight into summer.......our climate has changed drastically, which is a worry. Yet we cant help but enjoy the beautiful days.

    1. Enjoying while we can. Here we still have a nip in the air--warm days and freezing nights. But I was sitting with new friends at an after theatre light supper, and we toasted the spring at 5:58. Good, very good.

  5. I dedicate my poem to all the women out there in the world!❤️

    1. Thank you, Sanaa. Good thoughts. Have a great week.

  6. Rosa DeLauro deserves a poem but I'm not sure I can write one good enough. I hope someone else has tried...I'm off to read yourall's poems now.

    1. Ah, I think you might give it a try! Have a great week.


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