Marge Piercy (March 31, 1936 / Detroit, Michigan)
''... probably all of the women in this book are working to make part of the same quilt to keep us from freezing to death in a world that grows harsher and bleakerwhere male is the norm and the ideal human being is hard, violent and cold: a macho rock. Every woman who makes of her living something strong and good is sharing bread with us.''Marge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. As quoted in Mountain Moving Day, by Elaine Gill (1973). "This book" was a feminist collection of poetry by women.
''Loving feels lonely in a violent world,Marge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Community," lines 1-6 (1969). Referring to television and photographic images of the Vietnam War, which was at its height when this was written. Piercy was a prominent activist in the antiwar movement.
irrelevant to people burning like last year's weed
with bellies distended, with fish throats agape
and flesh melting down to glue.
We can no longer shut out the screaming
That leaks through the ventilation system ...''
''Remember that every son had a motherMarge Piercy (20th century), U.S. writer. "Doing It Differently," Circles on the Water (1892).
whose beloved son he was,
and every woman had a mother
whose beloved son she wasn't.''
''The real writer is oneMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet and novelist. "For the Young Who Want To," lines 31-36 (1980).
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.''
''this quilt might beMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Looking at Quilts," lines 44-49 (1976).
the only perfect artifact a woman
would ever see, yet she did not doubt
what we had forgotten, that out of her
potatoes and colic, sawdust and blood
she could create ...''
''This life is a war we are not yetMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Memo To: ... Subject:," lines 53-56 (1980). Directed to "female poets" and naming twenty strongly feminist women poets, this poem argued the importance of persevering in the face of problems and frustrations.
winning for our daughters' children.
Don't do your enemies' work for them.
Finish your own.''
''Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal maleMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Rape Poem," lines 18-19 (1976).
like a maggot in garbage.''
''A new idea is rarely born like Venus attended by gracesMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Rough Times," lines 20-22 (1976).
More commonly it's modeled of baling wire and acne.
More commonly it wheezes and tips over.''
''We are trying to liveMarge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "Rough Times," lines 1-3 (1976). On women's trying to construct lives that break with traditional sex roles.
as if we were an experiment
conducted by the future''
''This is the 184th Demonstration.Marge Piercy (b. 1936), U.S. poet, novelist, and political activist. "The 184th Demonstration," lines 1, 27-31 (1968). On the countless demonstrations mounted to protest the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War; Piercy was a prominent activist in the antiwar movement.
What we do is not beautiful
hurts no one makes no one desperate
we do not break the panes of safety glass
stretching between people on the street
and the deaths they hire.''
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To the Pay Toilet
You strop my anger, especially
when I find you in restaurant or bar
and pay for the same liquid, coming and going.
In bus depots and airports and turnpike plazas
some woman is dragging in with three kids hung off her
shrieking their simple urgency like gulls.
She's supposed to pay for each of them
and the privilege of not dirtying the corporate floor.
Sometimes a woman in a uniform's on duty