The Door

The Door

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by Margaret Atwood
     
 

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The Door, Margaret Atwood’s first book of poetry since her award-winning Morning in the Burned House, is a magnificent achievement. These fifty lucid, urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to meditative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political, viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry

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Overview

The Door, Margaret Atwood’s first book of poetry since her award-winning Morning in the Burned House, is a magnificent achievement. These fifty lucid, urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to meditative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political, viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry itself, as well as the passage of time and our shared sense of mortality.
Brave and compassionate, The Door interrogates the certainties that we build our lives on, and reminds us once again of Margaret Atwood’s unique accomplishments as one of the finest and most celebrated writers of our time.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

If there's an overriding theme to Atwood's latest volume of poems, her first since Morning in the Burned House(1995), it's the messiness of love. As the widely lauded author presents it in these 50 poems, love is shape-shifting; its moments of tenderness, toughness, insights, and insults appear and disappear like the Cheshire cat. Atwood looks at cats, crickets, butterflies, woods, gardens, autumn, a dying mother, the difficulties of aging-specifically of being an aging female poet-and the nature of poetry from the inside out. In "Owl and Pussycat, Some Years Later," a blend of dramatic monolog and parody, for example, she makes those nursery-rhyme figures not just people, but poets. As the titular characters muse regretfully on their shared past, they wonder whether their talent is any better "than the ability to win the sausage-eating contest, or juggle six plates at once." Their tone suggests the dichotomy of whimsy and dark irony that suffuses the book, one complementing the other. A richly layered collection; highly recommended for all libraries.
—Diane Scharper

From the Publisher
“Atwood’s poems are short, glistening with terse, bright images, untentative, closing like a vise. . . . A plain, explicit poetry, perfectly sure of itself.”
New York Times

“Margaret Atwood is best known, of course, as a novelist. But she brings to her poetry the same sharp eye and stinging wit.”
— Robert Haas, Washington Post

“Atwood is always vital, powerful, magnetically readable. . . . Readers who know only her novels really owe it to themselves to read her poems.”
Booklist

“Margaret Atwood’s The Door is one of the best books by one of the best poets writing in English, written in a sparse, elegiac tone that combines illuminating intelligence with caustic humour, and wisdom that for once truly comes with age.”
- Alberto Manguel, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618942725
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/07/2007
Edition description:
Includes CD of Poems
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)

Meet the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD'S poetry, like her fiction — including The Handmaid’s Tale and the Booker-winning The Blind Assassin—is known and acclaimed around the world. Her last collection, Morning in the Burned House, won the Trillium Book Award in 1995. The author of more than forty works of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and books for children, Atwood has received top honors and awards in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and many other countries. She lives in Toronto. In 2008, Atwood was awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Letters, considered to be the Spanish-language Nobel.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Toronto, Ontario
Date of Birth:
November 18, 1939
Place of Birth:
Ottawa, Ontario
Education:
B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
Website:
http://www.owtoad.com

Read an Excerpt

GASOLINEShivering in the almost-drizzleinside the wooden outboard,nose over gunwale,I watched it drip and spreadon the sheenless water:the brightest thing in wartime,a slick of rainbow,ephemeral as insect wings,green, blue, red, and pink,my shimmering private sideshow.Was this my best toy, then?This toxic smudge, this overspillfrom a sloppy gascan filledwith essence of danger?I knew that it was poison,its beauty an illusion:I could spell flammable.But still, I loved the smell:so alien, a whiffof starstuff.I would have liked to drink it,inhale its iridescence.As if I could.That's how gods lived: as if.  EUROPE ON $5 A DAYSunrise. The thin pocked sheetsare being washed. The city's old,but new to me, and thereforestrange, and therefore fresh.Everything's clear, but flat –even the oculist's dingy eyes,even the butcher's, with its painted horse,its trays of watery entrailsand slabs of darkening flesh.I walk along,looking at everything equally.I've got all I own in this bag.I've cut myself off.I can feel the placewhere I used to be attached.It's raw, as when you grateyour finger. It's a shredded messof images. It hurts.But where exactly on meis this torn-off stem?Now here, now there.Meanwhile the other girl,the one with the memory,is coming nearer and nearer.She's catching up to me,trailing behind her, like red smoke,the rope we share.

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