Poetry Wednesday – June 2, 2010

2 Jun

This poem popped into my head many times while we were preparing for our baby girl’s.  While not pretty, it is very powerful.  I’ll let it speak for itself.

.

Barbie Doll

by Marge Piercy

This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

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3 Responses to “Poetry Wednesday – June 2, 2010”

  1. Beth johnson June 3, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Makes me want to weep this one, how our society and culture have defined and continue to define beauty. May we foster an inner strength to our daughters so that they can defy the artificial norms thrust upon them from this mad machine.

  2. kris June 3, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    What a terrible and true form. My husband and I often talk of how we want to raise strong healthy girls. Girls who are able to overcome the desire to be what the world says they should be. It is a rather terrifying task. I am so glad I parent not alone, but with a husband and an all powerful Saviour, who is able to protect their hearts.

  3. Molly Sabourin June 3, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    This is very powerful, Jennifer, and appropriately disturbing. Your piece this week shows how poetry can not only soften our hearts and soothe our souls, but also wake us up and remind us to pay attention!

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