"Woman Work" by Maya Angelou is a poem that expresses the hardships of being a working mother. "Woman Work" is from the perspective of a poor mother who is struggling to get through life. She is exhausted, worn out, and all she wants to do is find relief in the never ending days full of work. An example of her tone can be found in the first stanza where she lists all the tasks that she must fulfill throughout the day: "I've got the children to tend The clothes to mend The floor to mop The food to shop" Her tone can also be found in the lines "Fall softly, dewdrops And cool my brown again" and "Let me float across the sky 'Til I can rest again" in which the mother wishes to seek relief from nature. Her wanting to be found of relief is also shown in the lines "Cold icy kisses and Let me rest tonight." This all pertains to the poem's theme, that despite your hardest times, you can find relief outside of yourself, like how the speaker of the poem finds comfort in nature.
When writing their works, poets use literary devices to make the message of their theme stand out and be more effective. Following this, Maya Angelou also chooses to use literary devices that are present throughout this poem. Some of them include apostrophe, personification, consonance, and others. Examples of usage of apostrophe are: "shine on me, sunshine rain on me, rain". An apostrophe is the use of non-existing objects to represent a certain idea or person. By using the apostrophe, the speaker is hinting that she wants to be surrounded by nature in order for her to reach her peace. Personification is expressed when she says "Cold icy kisses". This part of the poem is personifying the snowflakes that "Cover me with white Cold icy kisses and Let me rest tonight." Giving nature all these human like qualities is to show as if nature is the speaker's only form of companionship.