This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath… — Margaret Atwood, from “Shapechangers in Winter,” Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995. (Virago Press Ltd October 1, 1998)
Everything once had a soul, even this clam, this pebble. Each had a secret name. Everything listened. Everything was real, but didn’t always love you. You needed to take care. — Margaret Atwood, from “Because We Love Bare Hills and Stunted Trees,” Poetry Ireland Review Issue 116
I wish to show you the darkness you are so afraid of. Trust me. This darkness is a place you can enter and be as safe in as you are anywhere; you can put one foot in front of the other and believe the sides of your eyes. Memorize it. You will know it again… Continue reading Margaret Atwood
Late August Late August — This is the plum season, the nights blue and distended, the moon hazed, this is the season of peaches with their lush lobed bulbs that glow in the dusk, apples that drop and rot sweetly, their brown skins veined as glands No more the shrill voices that cried Need Need… Continue reading Margaret Atwood
This year we are making nothing but elegies. Do what you are good at, our parents always told us, make what you know. This is what we are making, these songs for the dying. You have to celebrate something. —Margaret Atwood, from “Four Small Elegies,” Two-Headed Poems. (Simon & Schuster March 9, 1981)
But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind. — Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 25, 2017) Originally published 1985.
There is always more than you know. There are always boxes put away in the cellar, worn shoes and cherished pictures, notes you find later, sheet music you can’t play. — Margaret Atwood, from “Dancing,” Morning in the Burned House. (Mariner Books; Reprint edition September 16, 1996)