(March 31, 1936 / Detroit, Michigan)

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Fashion(For Onelia)

I remember yellow
being the new black.

Then pink
was the new black.

Last year it was red
was the new black

but this year
(so I hear)

It’s back
(yes now)

but last
black is the new black.

I like

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Comments (7)

Why do we feel such an overwhelming need to change the nature of our environment and our physical and mental self? Is it drive for some personal idea of perfection or is it a sign of power hungry control freaks?
I tend to agree with Martin's interpretation of this piece. I find this poem wonderfully powerful!
This to me is a cry against the human need to control, dominate and frequently distort that which is beautiful in it's natural state already. Fashion is simply that tendency taken to a different level. Binding feet to conform with some twisted idea of beauty. This to me is an angry poem of passion. I think it is excellent.
Taylor Callis: If you would've read Marge Piercy's biography, you would've known that Marge Piercy was born in 1938. Did she really write this poem as an eight year old little girl who obviously knew nothing about the Depression going on? A Work of Artifice was a poem published in Marge's The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme in 1999. She was writing the poem refering to women's rights in the 1960's and that time period. An artifice by the way is -A Clever of Artsy Skill. Reread the poem.
I'd like to comment on what Glen Shorts said. Apparently Glen thinks that this poem is advocating the shrinking and belittling actions of the gardener, but lets explore this a bit why don't we? First of all, lets look at the title. A work of Artifice. Artifice almost literally means a social stupidity. So the title of this poem means 'A Work of Social Stupidity'. Now, lets look at who wrote the poem and when. A woman wrote this poem in the 1930's, when women were supposed to stay at home and clean and have kids. However, we know today that women have just as much potential as men do. So if one wants to look at the metaphors in the poem, the tree growing 80 feet tall is the potential of a woman, but society then was whittling them down and making them only 9' tall, less than 1% of their potential. The writer is not talking about literal height, she is comparing height to potential. The general tone of the poem is that the writer is pretty pissed off at what women are subjected to during this time period. Any more points you would like to make? Also...just throwing this out there...I'm a football player, and I'm not some couch potato that sits around all day. Also, there is a reason our culture is the way it is, and that is because that is how we want it. You may deny that you have inert aggressive leanings, but you would be lying. Marge Piercy obviously does.
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