What are big girls made of?: poems
, 1997 - Poetry
- 159 pages
What Are Big Girls Made Of? is full of poems - funny, serious, angry, delightful - that illumine the experience of being a woman. The title poem is a lament for women who allow themselves to be caught in the painful dilemma of being "retooled, refitted and redesigned" to match the style of every decade. Others extol the salty pleasures of middle age: making love with a familiar and adored partner; the ease with which one comes to accept one's body - a good belly, for example, is "a maternal cushion radiating comfort, " handed down from mother to daughter like a prize feather quilt. Some of the book's most beautiful poems are about the precarious balance of nature: white butterflies mating "in Labor Day morning steam" (a poem for Rosh Hashana); a little green snake slithering back to the camouflage safety of grass; the cool song of an October lunar eclipse, as opposed to the dangerous implications of the sun's disappearance; the death of an exquisite doe. Appropriately, from a poet who so winningly celebrates life in all its many variations, the book ends with the moving and simple "The Art of Blessing the Day": "Bless whatever you can/with eyes and hands and tongue. If you/can't bless it, get ready to make it new."