STONE, PAPER, KNIFE centers on the loss of an old love and the beginning of a new one, a woman’s politics and identity rooted in the land. The early sections are about divorce in a larger sense, divorce not only from a bonding, but a divorce of sensibility, the inability to connect with each other and the world we live in.
The sequence “Elementary Odes” (the title is in homage to Pablo Neruda) consists of poems that passionately embody the ecological side of feminism.
The later sections of the book form a prothalamion celebrating a marriage about to occur – the joining of woman and man and the joining of the human community to the larger community of all living on earth. Piercy believes we must relearn our place as part of the whole instead of as an active force attacking a passive object. It is a cleansing of our perceptions and our ability to love which these poems celebrate and embody, urging that we must “bear hope back into the world.”