Sunday, November 18, 2012



                              MARGE PIERCY AT ENDICOTT COLLEGE

     By Emily Pineau

   "These are the tracks I have left on the white crust of time."  This is a line that poet and novelist Marge Piercy read from her poem “Tracks”.  It is true that Piercy has, in fact, left many tracks along her way throughout  her career as a writer and as a social and political activist.   I had the honor of  introducing Piercy  at her reading at Endicott College, Nov. 13,  2012.  Prior to Piercy’s appearance at the college's chapel, I had conducted an online interview with her for the literary magazine,"Ibbetson Street," which made it possible for me to gain insight into the inspiration behind her writing and to obtain an understanding of how she came to be the successful writer she is today.  

            Many of the poems that Piercy read contained humor, ideas about body image, and nature.  When Piercy read her poem, “My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe”, many people were laughing in  recognition  because of how  universal the subject matter is.  In the poem, the mother is not giving straightforward instructions when she is describing how to make something, and is instead adding in her own little commentary to every detail.  Piercy read, “Take some flour. Oh, I don't know, like two-three cups, and you cut in the butter.”  This poem truly captures what it is like to try to get a recipe from a relative.  Also, in Piercy’s poem, “What Are Big Girls Made Of”,  Piercy uses a  familiar subject, although this one is more on the serious side.  The media puts so much emphasis on the importance of body image, and Piercy writes about the effect that has on women.  “Here is a woman forced into shape,” Piercy reads.  It seems to have become natural for women to hate their bodies, which is a very unfortunate occurrence in our culture.  Piercy also writes about things in nature that she finds to be intriguing and comforting in her life.  In her poem, “Colors Passing Through Us”, Piercy says, “Orange is my cat running live through the high grass,” and “Blue is the eyes of a Siamese cat”.

           After Piercy finished reading, Professor Doug Holder asked her what it is about cats that draws her to them.  “They are very sensual,” Piercy explained.  I can relate to this because I am also a cat person, and I feel like they are very inspiring creatures.  Their mysterious, yet calming demeanor is extremely captivating.”  Nature in general influences my writing as well.  I hope that one day I can incorporate humor, and brilliant metaphors like Piercy’s into my own writing.  

EMILY PINEAU--is an English major at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Ibbetson Street, Muddy River Review, Lyrical Somerville, Endicott Review and elsewhere.

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