“Atwood’s poems are short, glistening with terse, bright images, untentative, closing like a vise.… A plain, explicit poetry, perfectly sure of itself.” The New York Times
Morning in the Burned Houseby Margaret Atwood
These beautifully crafted poems - by turns dark, playful, intensely moving, tender, and intimate - make up Margaret Atwood's most accomplished and versatile gathering to date, " setting foot on the middle ground / between body and word." Some draw on history, some on myth, both classical and popular. Others, more personal, concern themselves with love, with the… See more details below
These beautifully crafted poems - by turns dark, playful, intensely moving, tender, and intimate - make up Margaret Atwood's most accomplished and versatile gathering to date, " setting foot on the middle ground / between body and word." Some draw on history, some on myth, both classical and popular. Others, more personal, concern themselves with love, with the fragility of the natural world, and with death, especially in the elegiac series of meditations on the death of a parent. But they also inhabit a contemporary landscape haunted by images of the past. Generous, searing, compassionate, and disturbing, this poetry rises out of human experience to seek a level between luminous memory and the realities of the everyday, between the capacity to inflict and the strength to forgive.
Read an Excerpt
The moment when, after many years of hard work and a long voyage you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment the trees unloose their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
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.
- Toronto, Ontario
- Date of Birth:
- November 18, 1939
- Place of Birth:
- Ottawa, Ontario
- B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
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