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)
Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin. (Virago Press Ltd; New Ed edition May 19, 2001)
But some people can’t tell where it hurts. They can’t calm down. They can’t ever stop howling. —Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin. (Virago Press Ltd; New Ed edition May 19, 2001)
Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers. — Margaret Atwood, Good Bones. (Virago Press Ltd September 9, 1993)
The desire to be loved is the last illusion Give it up and you will be free. — Margaret Atwood, from “A Sunday Drive,” Selected Poems II: Poems Selected & New 1976-1986. (Houghton Mifflin November 5, 1987)
I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed & that necessary. — Margaret Atwood, from “Variation on the Word Sleep,” Selected Poems II: 1976-1986. (Mariner Books; 2nd ed. edition November 5, 1987)