Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Atwood's Poetry

I've read a lot of Margaret Atwood's poetry this week. I've even written some poetry myself, something I haven't really done properly since the second year of my BA. Atwood's poetry is the sort of poetry I enjoy, it's both transparent and opaque, she uses language in original and interesting ways, a first reading of each poem makes sense; a second reading makes sensation - a feeling of yes, I wish I'd thought of that.
Here is a poem that I particuarly like:

My daughter crackles paper, blows
on the tree to make it live, festoons
herself with silver.
So far she has no use
for gifts.

           What can I give her,
what armor, invincible
sword or magic trick, when that year comes?

How can I teach her
some way of being human
that won't destroy her?

I would like to tell her, Love
is enough, I would like to say,
Find shelter in another skin.

I would like to say, Dance
and be happy. Instead I will say
in my crone's voice, Be
ruthless when you have to, tell
the truth when you can,
when you can see it.

Iron tailsmans, and ugly, but
more loyal than mirrors.
(Eating Fire, p.231)

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