Summary of the poem Woman work written by Maya Angelou

In this article, I have explained the summary, theme, and message of the Woman work written by Maya Angelou an American poetess. This is one of the most important poems of Maya Angelou about women. This poem is included in the course of the B.A. students of The  Punjab University in Pakistan.

The Poem "Woman work"

 (Written by Maya Angelou) 

Introduction o f Poetess and poem

This simple poem has been written by American poetess Maya Angelou. Her poetry is bout particular topics. The character sketch of a woman has been drawn in this poem who is always busy in her household works. All-day she works like a machine in the house. She becomes tired. She wants to give herself relief from her responsibilities because she has fed up with her monotonous homely life. So she desires to go in the lap of nature. She asks nature to come and give her joy and change her dull and boring life into a charming life. 


Maya Angelou is an American poetess. She speaks five languages. Her poetic thoughts cover a wide range of topics from everyday life. She speaks for the women and for their dull and drab life at home. A woman works from morning till night in the kitchen cooking and cleaning the hut without any appreciation.

“Woman work” is a thought-provoking poem. In this poem, the poetess describes the everyday life of a household lady. This lady has to perform many difficult pieces of work in her daily life. Her routine does not allow her moments of recreation. Also, nobody pays any attention to her need for refreshment and comfort. In this situation, her imagination proves helpful. She takes flight in the world of imagination and relieves herself from the dull and drab routine of life.

The woman in the poem says that she looks after her children and get them ready in time for school. She goes to the market to buy things of everyday use. She cooks food not only for her family but also for the guests if they are there. She cleans her house, presses the clothes, and bathes the little kids She also helps on fields in cutting the cane. This hectic routine denies her all the joys a living being may desire.

The woman in this poem does not let herself be killed by the monotony of life. She has rich imagination She flies on the wings of imagination and takes refuge in the world of dreams. She calls upon the objects of nature to rescue her. She requests the storm to blow her away. She asks the sun to shine on her, rain to fall on her, and dewdrops to settle gently on her forehead. She invites the snowflakes fto to cover her with cool, icy kisses. She asks these objects of nature to comfort her.

This poem is, doubtlessly, the story of every woman in every society of the world. The poem also tells us that nature has a refreshing impact. 

Critical appreciation

The poem describes the dull and drab life of a housewife busy in her norma household works. She has to look after the children as well as her house. She has to entertain the guest. She has to do a lot of shopping and she has to look after the lawn also. She feels tired and bored. She thinks that she is a machine and not a human being.

At this stage, she asks nature to come and help her. What a beautiful description is that after routine work, a woman wants to go in the lap to nature. She wants to enjoy and observe nature. She wants to get the urge of living in nature. 

The central idea

The central idea of this poem is that nature and its beautiful objects can save us from the load and pressure of everyday life. This poem consists of six stanzas. One stanza of eight lines and five stanzas of four-line each. The words are chosen from everyday speech. They are simple but impressive. There is a musical effect in the poem because of some vowel sounds. This attempt of Maya Angelou is really very impressive. 

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