BA English Poetry: Maya Angelou’s Woman Work and Dream of Idealisation

The character of the woman in the poet is ordinary; but the description is special and artistic. A woman performs all the daily chores of house ranging from ordinary to extraordinary; yet she is not appreciated. No one is her own. Then to survive as a sane human being, she must

resort to nature for idealization. 

The daily routine of a woman’s work is enough to prove that it is impossible for a woman to rest. So the poetess is telling us that to survive; a woman wants an outlet in the dreams of her ideal life. This realization of her dreams is possible through her participation in nature around her. Thus, she requests the sunshine to shine on her, the rain to rain on her, the dewdrops to drop on her, windstorm to float her across the sky, the snow flakes to cover her with icy kisses, the stars to twinkle on her, the moonlight to glow on her and the curving sky to bless her. Therefore, she wishes to live in Nature. To all these objects of Nature, she pays a rich tribute by saying:

“You are all that I can call my own”. 

Despite being a domestic character, she is a lover of nature and sees the source of survival in idealization. “Woman Work” is a very domestic poem depicting the typical routine life of a woman who performs her daily chores effectively and then yearns for a fantastic break amidst the elements of nature to give her strength and comfort so that she can forget her neck-breaking routine, and feel the freshness of natural elements to stimulate her body and soul to once again perform the next day’s chores.

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