Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems” as Want to Read:
What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Opening with a powerful cycle of elegies for her long-distant, half-brother, this major new collection by one of our bestselling poets then goes on to include both serious and funny poems about women and poems about the precarious balance of nature, ending with the beautiful, life-affirming "The Art of Blessing the Day." 160 pp.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 4th 1997 by Knopf (first published March 1st 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Are Big Girls Made Of?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Are Big Girls Made Of?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 292)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is probably my favorite poem from the book. Just beautiful.

On guard

I want you for my bodyguard,
to curl round each other like two socks
matched and balled in a drawer.

I want you to warm my backside,
two S's snaked curve to curve
in the down burrow of the bed.

I want you to tuck in my illness,
coddle me with tea and chicken
soup whose steam sweetens the house.

I want you to watch my back
as the knives wink in the thin light
and the whips crack out from shelter.

Guard my body against dust and disuse,
Great poetry -- the type that makes you want to stand up and say "*&%@ yeah I'm a woman -- you got a problem with that?!"
Jul 24, 2011 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers, poetry fans
Shelves: poetry
I'm not the biggest fan of "nature" poetry. (By which I mean, if you write it, and you aren't Mary Oliver, I tend to take issue of that.) So, when I picked up this little gem in San Francisco -- pleased as punch to find some Piercy poetry, which is impossible to track down in STL for some reason -- I was more excited about the sections that did not focus extensively on, well, deer for instance. But, as usual, Piercy disarms me. 90% of the poems in this collection are top of the line -- hitting c ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
This is one of my favorite poetry collections thus far. Marge Piercy writes about love, life, death, and seasons with a strong woman's voice. My favorite poem in this collection is the final entry,
The Art of Blessing the Day
This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter the skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is
My first book of M. Piercy poems. I'm also teaching it in my Creative Writing class. Loved it. Her poems are accessible, important, moving, political, historical. You could use this book to teach a history class, a creat. writing class, a women's studies class, a lit class.
It's the perfect choice for teachers. Fave poems:
the title poem, also Brotherless, and the elegy to Audre Lorde.
Because she was coming to my college as a speaker, I desperately wanted to love the writing of Marge Piercy. I thought, "What an intelligent woman. I can't wait to ask her poignant questions about her works." Alas, that did not happen. I found myself to be unmoved by this work- and excerpts from other.
Stacy Mar
Wonderful, reflective poetry.
In some ways, I think this book should be regarded as even more moving and iconic than Piercy's The Moon is Always Female, especially because of the excellent 'A day in the life,' about a terrorized abortion clinic employee. This is some of Piercy's best work overall.
Excellent, excellent collections of poems. So far, this is my favorite of her collections. I think she must have been about my age when she wrote them - so many speak to who I am now, and where I've been. I may have to buy two copies, so I can loan one out :)
I fell in love with Marge Piercy many years ago because of her comparison between women and bonsai trees. Now that I have read an entire collection of her works, I am an even bigger fan. I'm actually looking forward to writing about these for my class!
I love Marge Piercy's way of seeing both sides of a situation yet maintaining her feminist view without insulting the male gender too much. I found sympathy for some men in here as well as some anger too. Perfect quick read.
After reading quite a few of Piercy's poems on line I was happy to find this collection in a local bookstore. A quick perusal suggests that I'm in for a very big treat. And the cover! Can't miss with a Minoan fresco, can you?
Victoria Chow
I could care less for her nature poetry, but no one has a better handle on narrative poetry than Marge Piercy. Her poems on her dead brother and on feminism are unparalleled for me.
This was one of the 1998 RUSA Notable Books winners. For the complete list, go to
Piercy isn't my favorite, although she has mad skills and makes lots of other folks tingle. This volume holds the often cited "Rape Poem."
Never a disappointment to feminists, Piercy's poems expore everything from body image to karma.
Peggy marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Patty marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2015
Christina marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2015
Poppy Wadge
Poppy Wadge marked it as to-read
May 24, 2015
Noirchait Hintermann
Noirchait Hintermann marked it as to-read
May 06, 2015
Mahreen Khan
Mahreen Khan marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Mia added it
Apr 29, 2015
Susan Scott
Susan Scott marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2015
Janet Morris
Janet Morris marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
Meagan Proctor Kavouras
Meagan Proctor Kavouras marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Terry Everett
Terry Everett marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Red Suitcase
  • This Time: New and Selected Poems
  • Blood, Tin, Straw: Poems
  • Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems, 1968-1998
  • Sweet Machine
  • Domestic Work
  • Teahouse of the Almighty
  • Hip Logic
  • Looking for the Gulf Motel
  • The Book of Light
  • Pink Elephant
  • Duende
  • Human Dark with Sugar
  • Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems
  • The Collected Poems
  • The Beautiful: Collected Poems
  • Dark Fields of the Republic
  • Facts About the Moon
Marge Piercy (born March 31, 1936) is an American poet, novelist, and social activist. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers, a sweeping historical novel set during World War II.

Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family deeply affected by the Great Depression. She was the first in her family to attend college, studying at the University of Michigan. Winning a
More about Marge Piercy...
Woman on the Edge of Time He, She and It Gone to Soldiers The Moon Is Always Female: Poems Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York

Share This Book