You See the Armless Woman

Gilbert, Sandra

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Feb-12-2001


The armless woman appears "on some cold suburban corner." She holds a pen between her teeth, she types with her toes, and she is competent and straight. Why do you fear her? Why do you follow her? Why do you ask her to give back the magic of your own arms and elbows? [21 lines]


This is a strange little poem that speaks softly and carries a big forearm. The poem is in the form of a series of questions, each one progressively more surreal. We fear the armless woman because she somehow takes away the beauty and mystery from our own limbs. Our fingers were once precious stones before the armless woman appeared; now they are nothing but fingers.

Primary Source

Blood Pressure


W. W. Norton

Place Published

New York