“Woman Work” by Maya Angelou (Reference to the Context)

These lines have been taken from the poem “Woman Work” written by Maya Angelou.
The poetess feels extremely bored and tired after attending to her house-hold affairs. She feels that only the natural phenomena can exercise healthy influence on her. The natural objects can save her from unbearable boredom and can raise her spirits. A house-hold woman remains awfully busy with the domestic chores. Even then, she can enjoy nature through her imagination. It is an indirect praise of the woman’s greatness. In general, the poem is an escape from the drudgery of the mechanical routine and taking shelter in ideal life.
Stanza 1 = Lines 1 – 4
In these lines the poetess gives vent to her feelings for her dull and busy life. She is tired of the routine work of a working woman. She says she has to look after children at home. Also she has to repair clothes of the members of her family. She has to clean the floor of her house and has to
collect edibles from the shop for her family. After that she has to cook those things which she has brought from shop.
Stanza 2
These lines are a continuation of her domestic chores. She has mentioned some of the chores in the previous stanza and of some talks here. She says that she has to cook chicken for the family. Also she has to dry the baby after bathing it. After that she has to prepare meal for her guests. She has to remove unwanted plants from her garden. She has to press the clothes of her children and other members of her family. She has to dress her little children and also has to cut bamboos. She has to clean the whole house. All these chores are quite tough and require courage and for bearance on the part of a domestic woman.
Stanza 3
In these lines the poetess wants to enjoy the natural objects. She has got tired of the domestic work and wants to go close to nature. She says that the sun light should shine on her, rain should fall on her. The dewdrops should gently fall upon her. All these things can cool her brow. All these natural objects can give her satisfaction and peace.
Stanza 4
These lines are an expression of her escapism from the busy life of a working woman. The domestic woman remains awfully busy and dreams of an ideal life. In these lines she asks storm to blow her from the busy world across the sky with its stormy wind. As such she will be able to get relief from the hurly burly of life. She asks the storm to take her to an imaginary world for rest. Only imagination can give her, peace, solace and satisfaction, otherwise physically it is not
possible to run away from this world. Shelley in “Ode to the West Wind” says, oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
Stanza 5
This stanza is also an expression of taking relief and refuge with natural objects. She asks the snow-flakes to fall gently on her body and completely cover it up and make it all white. When she will be completely under the charm and burden of the white snow, she will get solace. She further
asks snow to touch and give her cold icy kisses, so that she may be able to have rest that night. Actually the natural objects can please a person and give company for some time.
Stanza 5
In these lines the poetess addresses all the natural objects to help her in giving relief from the busy life of a working woman. She wants to lose herself among the natural objects. That is why she asks the sun, rain, the curving sky, the mountains, the ocean, the leaf and the stone to give her
relief. Actually she wants to get relief and joy from all these things and wants to run away from dark and dull life at home. That is why she asks the moon to glow, the shining stars to give her shelter with them. She calls all these things her own because she wants some leisure and satisfaction in these natural things. Nature can give delight to her and can transport her to peace and tranquility.

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