the pz gesture of the lactating goddess Table of contents

Abstract & Preface

poetry by
Adrienne Rich

Chapter I
The hand of "El caballero de la mano al pecho"

Chapter II
Iconographical sources of nursing and nursing gestures in pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures

Chapter III
Iconographical sources of nursing and nursing gestures in Christian cultures

Chapter IV
Breast-feeding forms in the Renaissance

Chapter V
Literary sources of lactating goddesses

Chapter VI
The meaning of the Ostentatio Mammarum
and the pseudo- zygodactylous gesture

Illustrations & Bibliography

Biographical sketch


Yama-uba nursing Kintoki by Kitagawa Utamuro 1802 Japan

Small mouths, needy, suck you: This is love
--To a poet

Remind me how we loved our mother's body
our mouths drawing the first thin
sweetness from her nipples

--Sibling mysteries

... And how beneath

the strange male bodies
we sank in terror and resignation
and how we taught them tenderness

the holding-back, the play,
the floating of a finger
the secrets of the nipple

--Sibling mysteries, 3

-- Adrienne Rich, The dream of
a common language

poems 1974-1977

Yamauba Nursing Kintoki
print: Kitagawa Utamaro 1802 Japan
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston