Sunday, June 28, 2009

Atwood on Poetry

"[Poetry] lets the shadowy forms of thought and feeling out into the light, where we can take a good look at them and perhaps come to a better understanding of who we are and what we want, and what the limits to those wants may be." --Margaret Atwood


I can only aspire to live up to that standard.
I kinda see poems as clouds of cigarette smoke--hazy, yet well-formed entities that we seem to force ideas (usually in the form of geometric shapes)upon that are lethal.

Guess I'm speaking as a true prose writer.
Pretty articulate,of course for Margaret Atwood.
She used to be my pen pal. But for twenty years, she has not.
I always rather liked the kōan-like "a poem is a naked person..."

Bunny Out
Interesing quote benji! I also agree with Xdell's comment-some poetry has the power to move me to tears which is amazing considering the power ink on paper can have-best to you as always!!
Margaret Atwood is a genius with the written word. I loved and admired The Penelopiad. I do not know her poetry but if this is a taster perhaps I had better seek out more. So much said in so few words.
yeah ..that's a great quote ..
but i actually like's better .. :)
One of my favorite poems of all times, which I copied out of a lit mag in my yooooth:

"There is Only One of Everything"

Not a tree but the tree
we saw, it will never exist, split by the wind
and bending down
like that again. What will push out of the earth

later, making it summer, will not be
grass, leaves, repetition, there will
have to be other words. When my

eyes close language vanishes. The cat
with the divided face, half black half orange
nests in my scruffy fur coat. I drink tea,

fingers curled around the cup, impossible
to duplicate these flavours. The table
and freak plates glow softly, consuming themselves,

I look out at you and you occur
in this winter kitchen, random as trees or sentences,
entering me, fading like them, in time you will disappear

but the way you dance by yourself
on the tile floor to a worn song, flat and mournful,
so delighted, spoon waved in one hand, wisps of
roughened hair

sticking up from your head, it's your surprised
body, pleasure I like. I can even say it,
though only once and it won't

last: I want this. I want

-M. Atwood
TWM: in-deed.

XD: I agree on the hazy well formed entities, but as such I think they're open to mis/interpretation, which is A-OK.

IV: A deadbeat penpal? Margaret? And her with all that technology on her side.

FB: nice economy of words that.

DV: smoke gets in your eyes?

KS: Haven't actually read much of her poetry myself, and what little I read I didn't like (except the one Jeanne quoted). But I loved the Blind Assassin, great book!

FM: Those who know X, love X.

JN: Fabulous. Thanks for sharing that.
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