We sat across the table.
he said, cut off your hands.
they are always poking at things.
they might touch me.
I said yes.

Food grew cold on the table.
he said, burn your body.
it is not clean and smells like sex.
it rubs my mind sore.
I said yes.

I love you, I said.
That’s very nice, he said
I like to be loved,
that makes me happy.
Have you cut off your hands yet?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Marge Piercy's poem The Friend


  1. Martha says:

    i believe this poem is saying how you can do things for love and no i do not find it funny but the focus is particularly for the women to fall in love with the correct men not with the one who will ask you to cut of your hands.

  2. Hannah says:

    This poem was not intended to be funny. Piercy is writing, once again, about the way SOME men treat women. I admit that equality between men and women has come a long way since the 60’s, but there are some frames of mind that will keep repeating as ignorance breeds ignorance.
    I chose Marge Piercy as the poet to base my research essay on and now I’m finding that I’ve made a really good choice as her poems all deal with real issues in the world and aren’t constrained by ryme or meter, and takes advantage of the free-verse style. Perhaps this in itself is another measure to pass along her messages of freedom and unconstraint by rules.

  3. jacob says:

    This is a funny poem. I like funny pems more than interesting ones.

  4. fonda says:

    this poem makes me cry. to think of cutting off ur hands is horrible.

  5. denise says:

    This is a very interesting poem. I can tottaly idetify miself with the poem.

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