I reviewed some of my materials for summer class, what a heap of papers I had, when I dusted a copy of Marge Piercy’s ‘A Work of Artifice’ I thought I hadn’t shared this poem here in my blog yet. There are actually thousands of these poem published and analyzed all over the internet, but for personal consumption so they say, I’ll had this here. 

If you’re into gender or women-related studies and looking for powerful albeit easy pieces you’re required to analyze in your coursework on the representation of women, Piercy’s work is one brilliant metaphor you shouldn’t miss probing. 

A Work of Artifice 
Marge Piercy 

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.

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