Marge Piercy's poem "To Be of Use" expresses an opposing connotation about the idea of work. Most people believe the words "hard work" carry a negative connotation. What these words imply is not something that is generally received with enthusiasm but is often accepted either by force or obligation. The poem’s central theme is that satisfaction and self-fulfillment can be attained by using one's skills to serve a specific function in life, for it is the opinion of the speaker that an unproductive existence has no value or significance because it is vain, and pointless. Piercy uses figurative language, imagery, description, symbolism, and details to develop this theme throughout the poem. The narrator begins developing the theme in the first stanza by describing the people he loves the best. The speaker states that the people he loves "jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows" (2-3). Using this imagery the speaker reveals that he admires individuals who are not afraid of work; rather, they tackle their jobs "head first without dallying." In other words, they are not lazy and do not delay or procrastinate the completion of their duties. The speaker states that the people he regards highly "swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight" (4). With this image Piercy indicates that the speaker’s adored individuals that work with so much confidence and diligence often become so immersed in their work that they might end up isolating themselves from those with whom they associate. Further, the narrator declares that "They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half-submerged balls" (5-7). The speaker uses this metaphor to illustrate the notion that the people he loves work with such control and competence that they seem to be meant to do their jobs.
The poem’s narrator continues his description of the people he loves in the second stanza to further shape the theme. With the statement, "I love
is talking about. Expressing ideas, attitudes, fears, sorrows, disappointments, frustrations, hopes and joys and/or experiences make the audience focus exactly on the speaker’s thoughts. Some ideas, feelings, attitudes are presented on Marge Piercy’ poem “To Be of Use”. The speaker expresses their own concept or idea of work.
Most people believe that work is hard and boring. What these words explain is not something is received with enthusiasm but is often accepted either by force or obligation. The….
Cleveland High School Kristen Ferrara
Mrs. Lakas Period 3 June 8, 2008
A lot of authors express their emotions, thoughts and feelings through works of literature. Things they hear and see, as well as own life experiences influence some authors. Marge Piercy, a well-known author, was inspired by the stories her grandmother and mother would tell her throughout her childhood. Piercy was also encouraged by her mother to be observant and to remember what she would observe….
“To Be Of Use”
Most fear challenges. Whether the person dislikes failure, doesn't believe in himself/herself, or simply because challenges are difficult, that fact is undeniable. However, the poem “To Be Of Use” by Marge Piercy teaches the world that they should not back down when faced with difficult tasks. It teaches that everyone can be admirable by plunging into work and giving it their all. After all, as “To Be Of Use” also teaches, the more work one puts into a project of any kind, the….
passing through us by Marge Piercy:
In the collection of poems, Colors passing through us, Marge Piercy expressed her feelings and her perspection of life through her eyes using references to colors, and other daily life things.
"Blue as still water. Blue as the eyes of a siamese cat."
She expresses her calm and cool feelings through the color blue. She refers to the still water, which symbolizes tranquility, serenity and the state of being at peace.
"Love is a lumpy thing."
Marge compares love to….
1973, Marge Piercy wrote a poem that follows the life of a young girl growing up with modern expectations that she struggles to conform to. "Barbie Doll" uses different aspects of a woman's life to express the different pressures on women today. The first aspect Piercy uses to emphasize the stereotypes attached to women are images, colours, and toys that are traditionally associated with girls; the main character of the poem, is given gifts that are very feminine. The other aspects Piercy utilizes….
unconsciously controlling you physically and emotionally. As a female you have the right to stand up, be who you want, and live up to the potential you know you have. By looking at poetry as reflected in literary elements such as form, tone and symbolism Marge Piercy’s “A Work of Artifice,” one can see the oppression of women and feministic problems in society. This is relevant because it is within society today and will stay that way if not changed. This poem gives readers a realization that repression….
“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy
The poem “Barbie Doll’ by Marge Piercy dramatizes the conflict between stereotyping and perfection within society. The title accentuates the theme of the poem; the Doll symbolizes society’s interpretation of beauty and a reflection of how the girl’s ideas of this beauty shape her self-worth. According to Steven Ratiner, author of Giving Their World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets, it is Piercy’s realistic interpretations of life experience which develops the theme….
secretary. This chant reminds me of the one that Cinderella's stepmother and sisters where saying when they wanted the house clean and to prevent this young lady from attending the ball to meet her prince charming. Although that story was fictional, Marge Piercy managed to change the tune from a Cinderella's chant to The Secretary Chant. She describes the duties and personal feelings that female secretaries are too afraid to say because they may lose their jobs for taking a stand. A stand for what, you….
much anxiety placed on women to surrender to the image of being or becoming a Barbie doll. In the poem "Barbie Doll," written by Marge Piercy, I see evidence to this idea in the poet's use of irony, her attitude on the subjects of both inner and outer beauty, and her attitude on the significance of words interfering with a woman's self confidence.
To begin, the poet's use of irony is felt most toward the end of the poem. The very thought that people would say a person is pretty only after they are….
A Work of Artifice by Marge Piercy
The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,….