What Are Big Girls Made Of?


Opening with a powerful cycle of elegies for her long-distant, half-brother, this major new collection by one of our bestselling poets then goes on to include both serious and funny poems about women and poems about the precarious balance of nature, ending with the beautiful, life-affirming "The Art of Blessing the Day." 160 pp.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (29) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.00   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
What Are Big Girls Made Of?: Poems

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


Opening with a powerful cycle of elegies for her long-distant, half-brother, this major new collection by one of our bestselling poets then goes on to include both serious and funny poems about women and poems about the precarious balance of nature, ending with the beautiful, life-affirming "The Art of Blessing the Day." 160 pp.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As accessible and as crammed with experience as a novel, Piercy's 13th collection bears the effortlessly textured markings of a life lived fully. Featured are wryly confessional elegies for her disturbed, Vietnam vet brother "Our conversations were conducted/ without a common language./ I gave you a foot. You handed me a balloon...", the luminously sexual poems one expects from the author of The Moon Is Always Female and striking ruminations on marriage and middle age. At her best, Piercy blends a strange, elemental whimsy with powerful free verse to bring fresh examination to such subjects as dysfunctional families "A pit lined with fur and barbed wire;/ roast chicken and plastique, warmth/ and bile, a kiss and a razor in the ribs,/ our family" and to her intuitive odes to wild creatures like garter snakes and grackles. Less fully felt are poems with a social conscience, like the title piece, which offers only the expected observations on women's slavery to beauty and fashion "When will a woman/ cease to be made of pain?", while cozily humorous gripes on mundanities like having to pay "the mortgage bird" seem more Erma Bombeck than poetic. But when Piercy raises her sights to more transcendent subject matter like the shiveringly beautiful poem about love and light titled "The negative ion dance", she engages a seer's sense of numinous detail. Feb.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679765943
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Pages: 159
  • Sales rank: 793,004
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Brother-less one: Sun god 3
Brother-less two: Palimpsest 5
Brother-less three: Never good enough 7
Brother-less four: Liars' dance 11
Brother-less five: Truth as a cloud of moths 13
Brother-less six: Unconversation 15
Brother-less seven: Endless end 18
What are big girls made of? 23
Pop-sicle 27
Elegy in rock, for Audre Lorde 29
A day in the life 32
The promotion 36
A little monument 37
Half vulture, half eagle 39
The grey flannel sexual harassment suit 41
All systems are up 43
Between two Hamlets 45
All day all night talk radio 48
The thief 50
The new Rock Island Line 52
For two women shot to death in Brookline, Massachusetts 54
Moonburn 61
Liars' dice 62
A warm place becomes a cold place 63
All lovers have secret names 66
Little acts of love 67
The negative ion dance 68
Dance of the trees 69
Your standard mid life crisis 70
Duet that trails off 72
Salt in the afternoon 74
Belly good 75
The puzzle 77
The retreat 79
Reshaping each other 81
On guard 82
Ancient wood 85
Blizzard in March 86
March comes in on cleft hooves 87
The visitation 88
The voice of the grackle 90
Thousands of morning moths 92
In June, the young deer are almost tame 93
Death of a doe on Chequesset Neck 96
The sky changes 97
A quick and quiet one 99
Crow babies 101
The level 103
October eclipse 104
Off season rental 106
Trying our metal 108
Transfixed on the bank 109
Syzygy 110
My boa 115
If we can't find it, we make it 117
The world from below 118
Growing up haunted 119
The flying Jew 121
My rich uncle, whom I only met three times 124
On the road in middle age 126
Diana inaccessible 128
Reflections on a mirror 129
The descent of Orphee 131
The mean 134
Kaddish 137
Season of breakage 138
After the wind abated, he walked out and died 141
Season of the egg 143
Matzoh 145
A twitch in time 146
Targets 148
The price begins to mount 150
The world unbandaged 152
Coming up on September 153
Breadcrumbs 155
The art of blessing the day 157
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)