Marge Piercy is a striking and gripping writer, whether of poetry or stories. Her ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’ is one of my favorite Utopias – and you know how I love Utopias!
I was missing one of my favorites of her poems – For Strong Women – which is found in the collection “The Moon Is Always Female”, and so got the wonderful Cincinnati Library to send it to my neighborhood branch for me.
it was the most beat up book I have ever seen from a library! It looked almost like the copy I used to have – which I must have given or loaned to someone, because I cannot find it. Written sometime between 1977 and 1980, this poem became one of the icons of the feminist movement in those long ago days. I probably bought that book from another feminist icon – The Crazy Ladies Bookstore, in Northside, now passed into history.
For Strong Women absolutely details what was going on in my mind during the 70’s –
“A strong woman is a woman who is straining. A strong woman is a woman standing no tiptoe and lifting a barbell while trying to sing Boris Godunov….. a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done…. She is trying to raise a manhole cover with her head….her head hurts. People waiting for the hole to be made say, hurry, you’re so strong…. A strong woman is a woman who craves love like oxygen or she turns blue choking….. she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she enacts it as the wind fills the sail.”
That was what was going on in those good old, bad old days.