Marge Piercy Quotes

Marge Piercy (1936 - )

Marge Piercy, 1974
Marge Piercy, 1974. Waring Abbot / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Marge Piercy, from a working-class family in Detroit, was the first in her family to go to college. Her first husband was a physicist and anti-war activist. She divorced him, focused on her writing and politics for some years, married again, expanded from poetry to the novel Small Changes which became a feminist consciousness-raising classic, to the feminist classic and futuristic novel Woman on the Edge of Time, and began to gain more public recognition and acclaim.

Her work often focuses on women and their relationships.  At this writing, she had published 17 novels.

She remains active working for feminism and environmental causes and against war.

Selected Marge Piercy Quotations

• Never doubt that you can change history. You already have.

• Love as if you liked yourself, and it may happen.

• In an elitist world, it's always "women and children last."

• A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.

• A strong woman is a woman who craves love like oxygen or she turns blue choking.  A strong woman is a woman who loves strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong in words, in action, in connection, in feeling; she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

• All women hustle. Women watch faces, voices, gestures, moods.

The person who has to survive through cunning.

• All women are misfits. We do not fit into this world without amputations.

• Doorways are sacred to women for we are the doorways of life and we must choose what comes in and what goes out.

• We seek not rest but transformation. We are dancing through each other as doorways.

• Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.

• The will to be totally rational is the will to be made out of glass and steel: and to use others as if they were glass and steel.

• The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.

• Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.

• What a richly colored strong warm coat is woven when love is the warp and work is the woof.

• Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.

• Remember that every son had a mother whose beloved son he was, and every woman had a mother whose beloved son she wasn't.

• This life is a war we are not yet winning for our daughters' children. Don't do your enemies' work for them. Finish your own.

• We are trying to live as if we were an experiment conducted by the future.

• Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.

• My strength and my weakness are twins in the same womb.

• It you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.

• My idea of Hell is to be young again.

• A new idea is rarely born like Venus attended by graces. More commonly it's modeled of baling wire and acne. More commonly it wheezes and tips over.

• The real writer is one who really writes.

Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.

• With my poems, I finally won even my mother. The longest wooing of my life.

• I mourn in grey, grey as the sleeted wind the bled shades of twilight, gunmetal, battleships, industrial paint.

• The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.

• It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover.

• Sleeping together is a euphemism for people, but tantamount to marriage with cats.

• Shared laughter is erotic too.

More About Marge Piercy

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years.

I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Marge Piercy Quotes." About Women's History. URL: . Date accessed: (today).