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Literature & Language
Book Review
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Women and Our Bodies (Book Review Sample)


Reflect on this: Even though men also have bodies, women have often been considered to be more intimately connected to their bodies than men have. React to that statement and to the poetry we read (Lucille Clifton's "Poem to my Uterus," and "To My Last Period"; Anne Sexton's "In Celebration of My Uterus"; and Luci Tapahonso's "Blue Horses Rush In") and to the Anais Nin short story, "Birth." A minimum of three paragraphs.


Before the birth, she moved and pushed inside her mother.
Her heart pounded quickly and we recognized the sound of horses running:
the thundering of hooves on the desert floor.
Her mother clenched her fists and gasped. She moans ageless pain and pushes: This is it!
Chamisa slips out, glistening wet and takes her first breath.
The wind outside swirls small leaves and branches in the dark. Her father's eyes are wet with gratitude. He prays and watches both mother and baby—stunned. This baby arrived amid a herd of horses,
horses of different colors.
White horses ride in on the breath of the wind. White horses from the west
where plants of golden chamisa shimmer in the moonlight.
She arrived amid a herd of horses. Yellow horses enter from the east
bringing the scent of prairie grasses from the small hills outside. She arrived amid a herd of horses.
Blue horses rush in, snorting from the desert in the south. It is possible to see across the entire valley to Niist'aa from To.1 Bah, from here your grandmothers went to war long ago.
She arrived amid a herd of horses.
Black horses came from the north.
They are the lush summers of Montana and still white winters of Idaho
Chamisa, Chamisa Bah. It is all this that you are.
You will grow: laughing, crying,
and we will celebrate each change you live.
You will grow strong like the horses of your past. You will grow strong like the horses of your birth.



Women and our bodies
In Poem to My Uterus, Clifton alludes to loss infertility and the menstruation process, which are common themes for women artists focusing on their bodies. Hysterectomy leads to loss of the uterus and the speaker is in anguish since the uterus has brought forth her living children, but also had dead children. The poems focus on bodily functions that occur though phases in life. Similarly, In My Last Period, the speaker personifies menstruation, addressing the narrator’s body like in poem of my uterus, and highlights on changes that have taken in her body from youth to post menopause (Holladay, 2004).
In my celebration of my uterus, the speaker is happy at the realization that she will not have to undergo hysterectomy (Sexton, 200). This shows that women celebrate their bodies through literary works more than men. Women are more likely to focus on their bodies, because of their role as nurturers and care givers unlike men as demonstrated by the poems. Life is linked to the body where conception and birth is the initial stage in life.
Blue Horses Rush In, also focuses on the importance of women’s body through the ...
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