What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems

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9780679765943: What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems

Opening with a powerful cycle of elegies for her long-distant, half-brother, this major new collection by one of our bestselling poets then goes on to include both serious and funny poems about women and poems about the precarious balance of nature, ending with the beautiful, life-affirming "The Art of Blessing the Day." 160 pp.

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Review:

When a talented writer and feminist thinker like Marge Piercy asks What Are Big Girls Made Of?, the wise reader pays attention. Piercy gives plenty of answers in this many-faceted book. As in her previous 12 poetry collections, as well as her 14 novels, she creates edgy, funny surfaces that mask deeper inquiries. For instance, she offers several elegies to her apparently nasty half brother; though the poems roll the cadences of sad family stories often retold, they're made fresh by Piercy's search for some angle to celebrate, until she is finally only able to say, in "Brother-less Six: Unconversation,"

I was a white cedar swamp you traversed
on a wooden walkway above the black water.
You were a closet from which odd toys
and bizarre tools fell out on my head.
Though these elegies begin What Are Big Girls Made Of?, the rest of the book is a lively entanglement with sex, middle-aged love, and politics. Piercy's wit can sever pretension, as in "The Promotion," in which she tells how a friend's new job turned him into a murderer, or in "The Gray Flannel Sexual Harassment Suit," in which an Audenish third-person omniscient voice delineates the sort of woman "we" allow to file such suits: upwardly mobile white virgins. Piercy diagnoses social problems, but she also advances, in "The Art of Blessing the Day," a sense of politics derived from experience, an awareness "[t]hat things / work in increments and epicycles and sometimes / leaps that half the time fall back down." Ultimately, What Are Big Girls Made Of? concerns itself with the precarious balances of middle age: what to forgive, what to condemn, and how to talk about it. --Edward Skoog

About the Author:

Marge Piercy is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, including The Art of Blessing the Day; Early Grrrl; Mars and Her Children, My Mother’s Body; Available Light; Stone, Paper, Knife; The Moon Is Always Female; and her selected poems, Circles on the Water. Her book of craft essays, Parti-Colored Blocks for a Quilt, is part of the Poets on Poetry series of the University of Michigan Press, and she edited a poetry anthology, Early Ripening. In 1990 her poetry won the Golden Rose, the oldest poetry award in the country. She has written fourteen novels, including He, She and It (winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Longings of Women and City of Darkness, City of Light. The novel Storm Tide, co-authored with her husband, Ira Wood, was published in June 1998. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into sixteen languages. She and her husband live on Cape Cod.

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Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What Are Big Girls Made Of? is full of poems - funny, serious, angry, delightful - that illumine the experience of being a woman. The title poem is a lament for women who allow themselves to be caught in the painful dilemma of being retooled, refitted and redesigned to match the style of every decade. Others extol the salty pleasures of middle age: making love with a familiar and adored partner; the ease with which one comes to accept one s body - a good belly, for example, is a maternal cushion radiating comfort, handed down from mother to daughter like a prize feather quilt. Some of the book s most beautiful poems are about the precarious balance of nature: white butterflies mating in Labor Day morning steam (a poem for Rosh Hashana); a little green snake slithering back to the camouflage safety of grass; the cool song of an October lunar eclipse, as opposed to the dangerous implications of the sun s disappearance; the death of an exquisite doe. Appropriately, from a poet who so winningly celebrates life in all its many variations, the book ends with the moving and simple The Art of Blessing the Day : Bless whatever you can/with eyes and hands and tongue. If you/can t bless it, get ready to make it new. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780679765943

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