Get ready to be inspired by the resilience and power that emanates from the poems ahead.
We’ve curated a collection of verses that showcase the incredible spirit of strong women from all walks of life.
These poems capture their unwavering determination, fearlessness, and relentless pursuit of their dreams as they conquer challenges and break boundaries.
Allow these words to uplift and embolden you as they pay homage to the indomitable spirit of women who refuse to be held back.
- Why You Should Read Women’s Empowerment Poems
- 17 Empowering Poems About Strong Women
- 1. Beware, honey by Sandra Cisneros
- 2. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
- 3. Won’t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton
- 4. It’s your flaw I want to taste, by Lora Mathis
- 5. Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
- 6. Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why), by Nikki Giovanni
- 7. Ain’t I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth
- 8. The Courage That My Mother Had by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- 9. The Journey by Mary Oliver
- 10. The Applicant by Sylvia Plath
- 11. I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- 12. Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks
- 13. Her Kind by Anne Sexton
- 14. Fire by Nikita Gill
- 15. When you fall for a man who could never love you by Aman Batra
- 16. To The Indifferent Woman by Charlotte Anne Gilman Perkins
- 17. The Kindest Words by Rumi Kapur
- Final Thoughts
Why You Should Read Women’s Empowerment Poems
Delving into the world of women empowerment poems offers a transformative experience that can reshape your perspective on strength, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of women.
Here’s why you should immerse yourself in these dynamic and relevant verses:
- You’ll be inspired by the stories of courageous women who have overcome adversity, reminding you of your own inner strength.
- You’ll connect with shared emotions, experiences, and challenges that create a sense of unity and sisterhood.
- You’ll gain valuable insights into the struggles and triumphs of women from diverse backgrounds, promoting empathy and understanding.
- You’ll discover powerful voices in poetry that challenge societal norms and expectations, empowering you to question the status quo.
- You’ll find motivation and encouragement in the face of your own obstacles, drawing from the strength of the women depicted in these poems.
17 Empowering Poems About Strong Women
Allow these words to uplift and embolden you as they pay homage to the indomitable spirit of women who refuse to be held back.
1. Beware, honey by Sandra Cisneros
I’m an aim-well, shoot-sharp, sharp-tongued, sharp-thinking, fast-speaking, foot-loose, loose-tongued, let-loose, woman-on-the-loose loose woman. Beware, honey.
2. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
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 backyard. 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 sexiness 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 I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
3. Won’t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton
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.
4. It’s your flaw I want to taste, by Lora Mathis
It’s your flaws I want to taste. Your crooked mouth. The way you smell after being out all day. The lump in your throat. Your shaky hands. Your morning breath. Your prickly legs. Your pimpled politeness. Your tangled hair. I don’t want to be able to run my fingers through you easily. It’s no fun writing about perfections. I want to talk about you- flawed, crooked, endless you.
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5. 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.
6. Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why), by Nikki Giovanni
I was born in the congo I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne drinking nectar with allah I got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirst My oldest daughter is nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the nile I am a beautiful woman I gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert with a packet of goat's meat and a change of clothes I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift so swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son hannibal an elephant He gave me rome for mother's day My strength flows ever on My son noah built new/ark and I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day I turned myself into myself and was jesus men intone my loving name All praises All praises I am the one who would save I sowed diamonds in my back yard My bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels On a trip north I caught a cold and blew My nose giving oil to the arab world I am so hip even my errors are correct I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission I mean...I...can fly like a bird in the sky…
7. Ain’t I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth
(Note: This poem, originally a speech given by Truth in 1851, highlights the strength and resilience of women, particularly Black women, in the face of adversity.)
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman? Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or Negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full? Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
8. The Courage That My Mother Had by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The courage that my mother had Went with her, and is with her still: Rock from New England quarried; Now granite in a granite hill. The golden brooch my mother wore She left behind for me to wear; I have no thing I treasure more: Yet, it is something I could spare. Oh, if instead she'd left to me The thing she took into the grave!— That courage like a rock, which she Has no more need of, and I have.
9. The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice -- though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. "Mend my life!" each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do -- determined to save the only life you could save.
10. The Applicant by Sylvia Plath
First, are you our sort of a person? Do you wear A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch, A brace or a hook, Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch, Stitches to show something's missing? No, no? Then How can we give you a thing? Stop crying. Open your hand. Empty? Empty. Here is a hand To fill it and willing To bring teacups and roll away headaches And do whatever you tell it. Will you marry it? It is guaranteed To thumb shut your eyes at the end And dissolve of sorrow. We make new stock from the salt. I notice you are stark naked. How about this suit— Black and stiff, but not a bad fit. Will you marry it? It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof Against fire and bombs through the roof. Believe me, they'll bury you in it. Now your head, excuse me, is empty. I have the ticket for that. Come here, sweetie, out of the closet. Well, what do you think of that? Naked as paper to start But in twenty-five years she'll be silver, In fifty, gold. A living doll, everywhere you look. It can sew, it can cook, It can talk, talk, talk. It works, there is nothing wrong with it. You have a hole, it's a poultice. You have an eye, it's an image. My boy, it's your last resort. Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.
11. I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, being born a woman and distressed By all the needs and notions of my kind, Am urged by your propinquity to find Your person fair, and feel a certain zest To bear your body’s weight upon my breast: So subtly is the fume of life designed, To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind, And leave me once again undone, possessed. Think not for this, however, the poor treason Of my stout blood against my staggering brain, I shall remember you with love, or season My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain: I find this frenzy insufficient reason For conversation when we meet again.
12. Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks
Maud went to college. Sadie stayed home. Sadie scraped life With a fine toothed comb. She didn’t leave a tangle in. Her comb found every strand. Sadie was one of the livingest chits In all the land. Sadie bore two babies Under her maiden name. Maud and Ma and Papa Nearly died of shame. When Sadie said her last so-long Her girls struck out from home. (Sadie had left as heritage Her fine-toothed comb.) Maud, who went to college, Is a thin brown mouse. She is living all alone In this old house.
13. Her Kind by Anne Sexton
I have gone out, a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night; dreaming evil, I have done my hitch over the plain houses, light by light: lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. A woman like that is not a woman, quite. I have been her kind. I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods; fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves: whining, rearranging the disaligned. A woman like that is misunderstood. I have been her kind. I have ridden in your cart, driver, waved my nude arms at villages going by, learning the last bright routes, survivor where your flames still bite my thigh and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. A woman like that is not ashamed to die. I have been her kind.
14. Fire by Nikita Gill
Remember what you must do when they undervalue you, when they think your softness is your weakness, when they treat your kindness like it is their advantage. You awaken every dragon, every wolf, every monster that sleeps inside of you and you remind them what hell looks like when it wears the skin of a gentle human.
15. When you fall for a man who could never love you by Aman Batra
When you fall for a man who could never love you don’t say I didn’t warn you when you fuck your way to his heart and find broken chandeliers from every time he was hung and cut down while still shining don’t say I didn’t warn you Be foolish Be foolish Be foolish burn down the caution signs bulldoze the barriers between his past and your passion it’s the only way you’ll learn you’re not his firefighter it’s not your job to save him
16. To The Indifferent Woman by Charlotte Anne Gilman Perkins
You who are happy in a thousand homes, Or overworked therein, to a dumb peace; Whose souls are wholly centered in the life Of that small group you personally love; Who told you that you need not know or care About the sin and sorrow of the world? Do you believe the sorrow of the world Does not concern you in your little homes? — That you are licensed to avoid the care And toil for human progress, human peace, And the enlargement of our power of love Until it covers every field of life? The one first duty of all human life Is to promote the progress of the world In righteousness, in wisdom, truth and love; And you ignore it, hidden in your homes, Content to keep them in uncertain peace, Content to leave all else without your care. Yet you are mothers! And a mother's care Is the first step toward friendly human life. Life where all nations in untroubled peace Unite to raise the standard of the world And make the happiness we seek in homes Spread everywhere in strong and fruitful love. You are content to keep that mighty love In its first steps forever; the crude care Of animals for mate and young and homes, Instead of pouring it abroad in life, Its mighty current feeding all the world Till every human child can grow in peace. You cannot keep your small domestic peace Your little pool of undeveloped love, While the neglected, starved, unmothered world Struggles and fights for lack of mother's care, And its tempestuous, bitter, broken life Beats in upon you in your selfish homes. We all may have our homes in joy and peace When woman's life, in its rich power of love Is joined with man's to care for all the world.
17. The Kindest Words by Rumi Kapur
The kindest words my father said to me Women like you drown oceans.
Through these powerful works of poetry, we witness the raw and unbridled strength of women who face adversity head-on. These poems echo with the voices of those who have overcome obstacles, shattered glass ceilings, and defied the odds.
They serve as a testament to the unwavering courage and resilience that lie within every woman. So let these poems be a guiding light in your own journey towards empowerment and inspire you to reach new heights.