Marge Piercy: Poems

An Analysis of The Secretary Chant by Marge Piercy College

The poem “The Secretary Chant,” by Marge Piercy, holds many characteristics that are meant to pull the reader in. As with any poem, the words mean more than they appear to. Each line is written with a purpose. Every word has significance and without it, the poem would not come across the same.

“My hips are a desk.” The first line of the poem acts as a tone setting for the whole poem. She is starting off by personifying a desk as her hips. This metaphor is crucial to the rest of the poem. When you think of a desk, what is it that you think of? Often it is a station for working. It is the place where all supplies are laid out and all work is to be done. She says that her hips are a desk because they are a foundation for her body. The poem is filled with metaphors comparing body parts to office supplies. The meaning of this poem is to show a transformation from woman to a walking work machine. She feels as though she does everything, she is the foundation to all workers in the perceived office setting.

“From my ears hang chains of paper clips. Rubber bands form my hair.” These two lines have multiple meanings. An obvious meaning for these phrases is that she is the place where everyone goes to obtain their office supplies. There is...

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