Useful Work

“The people I love the best, jump into work head first” is a great emotional starter used by Marge Piercy. She hits home with this line as it evokes a statement that emphasizes the appreciation of hard working individuals. She makes the point that hard work is earned and not given; because the ones that are “dallying in the shallows” are sliding by under the surface which exemplifies a lazy work ethic and does not allow success. She ends the first stanza, in my opinion, by explaining the striving work ethic of waking up every day and going out to work as if it is first nature. She says it is native to the people, as we conjoin in union to keep working and making strides to improvement.

Through every day hard work, people do what is needed to make a living. She uses different metaphors to show how people keep going even through all the odds of failure and keep moving to do what they need to do. The metaphors come from a more farming role, but in my opinion I believe she is using manual labor as a driving force to exemplify her appreciation for all work in general.  As long as they are focused and driven to do what they are suppose to do, she is gratified by their hard work “again and again.”

Marge Piercy reiterates that people who go out and complete their tasks are the ones to appreciate. The ones that are actually putting forth the effort are the ones she wants to be by; in my opinion, she loves the people that work in unity to provide the services and needs people rely on. Whereas the ones who are “parlor general and field deserters” are over emphasized and are not the real ones or are doing the work.

Marge Piercy goes into the end result of all the hard work that the people have compiled. She says “has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident” which in my opinion that with all the hard work the finished product is a glorious feat of accomplishment. She makes it apparent that these finished products may seem mundane but in reality should be appreciated as hard work and to not be overlooked.

Marge Piercy really believes in people as long as they are willing to be efficient and complete their task in entirety. She believes in people that do hard work, and that they should be appreciated for their results.


One thought on “Useful Work

  1. You have good thoughts and reasons for what you think the main point of the poem is. I agree with your statement because my understanding from reading the poem, the author is saying hardworking and efforts moves you the next level. The author also pointed that laziness does not take you anywhere. For that reason, hard work equals success.
    I like the picture. It reminds me of my grandmothers when they used to work in the fields back in Africa. The worked hard because they knew the importance of hard work. They also knew that in order to be successfully, that’s how they going be independent and successful. As old as they were, they woke up every morning to work in the field under unbearable heat. I think this because they knew nothing else but hard work from generation past. Hardworking did make my grandmothers strong women.

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