MADE FROM THIS EARTH: An Anthology of Writings by Susan Griffin

MADE FROM THIS EARTH: An Anthology of Writings

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

When I first recognized my anger as a woman, my feelings as a feminist, suddenly my writing was transformed. Suddenly I had material. . . I had something to write about."" The material feminist poet and philosopher Griffin (Woman and Nature; Pornography and Silence) has made her own covers now-familiar feminist themes: from the female body (""Hair curling from under our arms"") to lesbianism to male politics and aggression. With material Griffin also round method, or anti-method, in viewing everything as a duality: in pornography, between nature and culture; in her self, between the ""visionary and the censor""; in her thought, between ideology (bad) and emotion (good). The ideologist in Griffin prefers ""safety over risk. The predictable over the surprise. Control over emotion."" More control over emotion would not, however, be amiss: without it, Griffin's collected writings remain on the level of pleasing tracts for the already converted, those able to perceive personal truth in poems on ""The Sink,"" ""Our Mother,"" and ""Archaeology of a Lost Woman: Fragments"" (""A book stained with years of use: The Joy of Cooking./ The pieces of a mixing bowl taken apart. . .""). Griffin is right when she says, on motherhood, that ""these notes are a collection of insights . . . records of pieces of my lire. There is no formal theory here; the work is incomplete."" So we have short takes on her acceptance of her lesbian identity (""This is a story about two women who love each other""), her feelings about motherhood and whiting (""This is the story of the day in the life of a woman trying to be a writer and her child got sick""), and, representing a ""whole area of women's knowledge,"" one of her ""Tiredness Cycle"" poems (""This is a piece of writing about the parts that die""). Griffin agrees with Tillie Olsen that every woman who writes is a survivor. But does that imply that everything written that survives is worth collecting? How quickly new discoveries, in short, become new clichÉs.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1983
Publisher: Harper & Row