Marge Piercy

American novelist and poet (born 1936)

Marge Piercy (born March 31, 1936) is an American poet, novelist, and social activist.


  • I said, I like my life. If I
    have to give it back, if they
    take it from me, let me only
    not feel I wasted any, let me
    not feel I forgot to love anyone
    I meant to love, that I forgot
    to give what I held in my hands,
    that I forgot to do some little
    piece of the work that wanted
    to come through.
    • "If they come in the night", in The Twelve-Spoked Wheel Flashing (1978); reprinted in Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir (2002).

Quotes about Marge PiercyEdit

  • In the women's consciousness-raising groups I belonged to in the early 1970s, we shared personal and very emotional stories of what it had really been like for us to live as women, examining our experiences with men and with other women in our families, sexual relationships, workplaces and schools, in the health care system and in surviving the general societal contempt and violence toward women. As we told our stories we found validation that our experiences and our reactions to them were common to many women, that our perceptions, thoughts and feelings made sense to other women. We then used that shared experience as a source of authority. Where our lives did not match official knowledge we trusted our lives, and used the collective and mutually validated body of stories to critique those official versions of reality. This was theory born of an activist need, and the feminist literature we read, from articles like "The Politics of Housework" and "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm" to the poetry of Susan Griffin, Marge Piercy and Alta, rose out of the same mass phenomenon of truth-telling from personal knowledge.
  • Marge Piercy is very dear to me-a person who puts her life where her mouth is...I'm always interested in what Marge [Piercy] does. I mean we have our differences about several things, and approaches to writing-what and who and how-but she's an amazing woman and a true writer, and she does a tremendous amount of work and is very particular about what she's doing. She's doing a certain kind of chronicling of our time. She has a book called The High Cost of Living. I think it's really a wonderful book. It's not well-known. And it's one of her shortest things. I think she thinks she just tossed it off.
  • I remember Marge Piercy saying at the Aspen Conference that she had "an aesthetics of clarity." And I thought, hmm, that's not bad.
  • A lot of the young women in the peace movement were really just pushed around by SDS (the student organization). That is, Meredith Tax or Marge Piercy were pushed around by these guys, these young fellows in these student movements, who were really not shallow because they were very smart, but callow and full of male beans and ambition and so forth. And accustomed to or forced to play a certain role. I think the women's movement has done a lot for men, a tremendous lot for them. For men who paid attention it has taken some of the burden of machoism off their backs, which is a terrible burden to bear. If you think about it, it's horrible. It's horrible to have to be that kind of person in order to be a person.

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