power politics

In anticipation of the lecture on Monday, last week I squeezed in Power Politics by Margaret Atwood instead of what I had otherwise planned on reading. From Goodreads:

Margaret Atwood’s Power Politics first appeared in 1971, startling its audience with its vital dance of woman and man. Thirty years later it still startles, and is just as iconoclastic as ever. These poems occupy all at once the intimate, the political, and the mythic. Here Atwood makes us realize that we may think our own personal dichotomies are unique, but really they are multiple and universal. Clear, direct, wry, unrelenting—Atwood’s poetic powers are honed to perfection in this important early work.

I’m no expert when it comes to poetry—I usually don’t have the patience to let the words completely soak in—but I love Margaret Atwood and have heard that Power Politics is a decent place to start with her poems. She had me from the very first page:

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye


I didn’t quite get a sense of separate poems—it was more like one long poem. There is a very strong sense of love, pain, violence, and betrayal. The jilted lover’s intense focus on “You” is especially powerful. There were parts of the collection that resonated deeply and made me reflect on the dark, angry thoughts and feelings that I may have experienced after particularly arduous breakups. I was pretty busy last week, otherwise I’m sure I could have read the whole collection in one sitting (even less than an hour) rather than over a few days. I’m counting this as one of my reads for the KC Library’s Love on the Rocks Adult Winter Reading Program.

Read from January 29 to 31, 2015.

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