The Changes Of Womanhood In Marge Piercy‘S “The Secretary Chant”

786 words - 3 pages

Marge Piercy’s “The Secretary Chant” begins the poem by describing different parts of her body as office supplies. In line one she states that “My hips are a desk.” In line two and three she says “From my ears hang/ chains of paper clips.”(2) In line four she also continues with “Rubber bands form my hair.”(3) I feel like Piercy’s goal by starting off the poem in this way, was to help emphasize the speakers frustrations toward her job right away. I also feel that by comparing the speakers body parts to office supplies, gives the feeling that the speaker is using a form of sarcasm; which explains how much her job is unwillingly becoming apart of her life. In line five She states “My breasts are wells of mimeograph ink”. In the same time period that this poem was published, was also a time when women began to leave there roles as house wives. Breasts are one of the most feminine parts of the body, and by comparing her breasts to mimeograph ink, it seems like she’s saying that her woman hood is being changed as well.
This next part of the poem is a little hard for me to understand. She explains in the next line “My feet bear casters”(6). I believe that she is insinuating that it’s like her feet have casters on them, which allow her to be pushed and pulled any wherever she is needed. In the next line the speaker begins to make sounds “Buzz. Click”(7). Maybe she is hearing sounds of a type righter, so much that she begins to here them randomly all of the time. In line eight and nine, she compares her head to office supplies, like she did other parts of her body. She says “My head is a badly organized file.”(8). I feel like she is trying to explain to us how bad everything is and she is such a mess that she can’t keep anything organized, not even her own mind. Piercy seems to be trying to draw more attention to the woman’s sanity, by using yet another comparison of her head to office supplies. She complains that “My head is a switchboard/ where crossed lines crackle” (9). This sentence is very interesting to me, because it is saying that her head is not only badly organized but a switchboard as well. Comparing her...

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