Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
Usually, I post poems for kids on Poetry Friday, but this week I’m going a different route. I hadn’t read any of Margaret Atwood’s poetry before–I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realize she wrote poetry. Then I got a review digital copy from NetGalley of her new collection, Dearly. Wow. These poems are by turns dark, angry, and beautiful. They are mostly stunning. Atwood uses so many concrete, hard-hitting words, and her imagery is so vivid…sometimes her poems are a punch in the gut, honestly. I read a few per day, just savoring her language. I’ll come back to this, and now I realize I need to go read her earlier collections, too.
to there? God only knows.
And the procession of wraiths’ photos
claiming to prove that I was me:
the faces greyish disks, the fisheyes
trapped in the noonhour flashflare
with the sullen jacklit stare
of a woman who’s just been arrested.
Sequenced, these pics are like a chart
of moon phases fading to blackout; or
like a mermaid doomed to appear onshore
every five years, and each time altered
–by Margaret Atwood, all rights reserved, from Dearly
And for lots of wonderful poetry (most of it much more lighthearted than this!), don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Linda Baie, bookstore volunteer, poetry lover, and snow survivor!
You’ve made me want to read more, Laura. The title, “Passports” is intriguing, that woman wandering and taking in the scenes of heartbreak. Now I wonder where she is? I will look for more of Atwood, really don’t know much about her poetry either.Have a lovely weekend!
Thanks for shining the spotlight on Atwood’s poetry, Laura. It is a good reminder for me to seek out reading her work more often. 🙂
Whew, this is definitely not lighthearted – but there’s so much imagery and word choice to savor. Wow.
Her imagery throughout is aMAZing. It’s what makes her grim poems so arresting, I think.
Janice Scully says
“Sequenced, these pics are like a chart/ of moon phases fading to blackout” Thanks for sharing this, Laura. It is a powerful poem with language that is unusual, her choice of words surprising, like Jacklit and noonhour flash flare.
I posted today about a collection edited by her husband – synchronicity! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Linda Mitchell says
Oh, my….yes, a punch to the gut. I never read any of her work and just recently marathoned the hulu version of Handmaid’s Tale. I think I need to read more of her work. Thanks for sharing this!
I don’t like dystopian work, in general–in movies, novels, anything. So I wasn’t a fan of that book (read ages ago in high school or college). Never occurred to me to look for more of her work, but now I’ll be definitely checking out more of her poetry. This is her first collection in years, apparently, but she has many earlier ones!
Michelle Kogan says
This poem feels dark and heavy, and doesn’t seem to let up either. It makes me wonder where the thoughts are emerging from–I’m wondering if this poem is connected with women’s abuse and violence which she has written about. Unfortunately while I’m leaving my comment I can’t see any other comments so I look forward to viewing others after submitting mine, thanks Laura.
It doesn’t let up. And there are some poems in this collection that do address actual violence/abuse. This one, I THINK, is really more a grim (and barely discernibly humorous) look at aging and those awful photos they put on our passports. But it’s mesmerizing…
Oof. Quite a different share from you this week. There is much to learn from ALL the poets, eh?
Irene Latham says
Thank you for sharing this, Laura! For lighter Margaret Atwood, try MORNING IN THE BURNED HOSUE. xo
I’ll admit it doesn’t SOUND lighter, but thank you. Adding to my tbr list!
Kay Mcgriff says
I did not know that Atwood wrote poetry either. Thanks for sharing this one.
Heidi Mordhorst says
Ha–Irene thinks MORNING IN THE BURNED HOUSE might be lighter?! I think I knew she wrote poetry too, but had not read any. How did you come to have this before you, Laura? And is it right that those of us more determinedly light-hearted are re*uired by events and aging to admit to the heavier days and thoughts? Thank you for this.
Robyn Hood Black says
Wow, Laura – thanks for sharing. I tend to stay away from heavy dystopian fare as well, and I haven’t read much of Atwood’s poetry. This imagery is brilliant.