Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You are Happy” as Want to Read:
You are Happy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You are Happy

by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  13 reviews
poetry
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published December 31st 1974 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1974)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You are Happy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You are Happy

The Shape of Water by Anne SpollenThe Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldWillow by Julia HobanA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniAtonement by Ian McEwan
Life Affecting/Perspective Changing Books
14th out of 33 books — 18 voters
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodOryx and Crake by Margaret AtwoodThe Blind Assassin by Margaret AtwoodCat's Eye by Margaret AtwoodAlias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Best of Margaret Atwood
48th out of 77 books — 134 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 507)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Eirin
Apr 23, 2011 Eirin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This book of poetry has become one of my favourites. From the start I instantly understood I would love Atwood's poetry. I haven't read any of her other fiction, but I surely will.

The poetry is both moving, sensual, sad, angry and at times even funny. I love how she covers such vast topics, yet manages to make the book feel whole and interconnected. Her Circe/Mud Poems were delicious to the literary feminist in me, and everything else appealed to everything else in me, simply. The language flow
...more
Michelle
The Circe poems are some of the most incredible things I've ever read. I come back to them every few years and read them obsessively, over and over, for a day or two. A wonderful commentary on ancient epics, the power of story, the role of women in heroic tales, and so much more.
Alexa
There’s something very friendly and pleasing about these small poetry collections, the way they can be carried around and dipped into as one has a moment here and a moment there. I quite enjoyed the structure of this! It starts off with the ironic, sad "You Are Happy" section, full of poems of loss and endings and fights and similar negative emotions, then it moves on to the "Songs of the Transformed," funny, joyful poems, then we move on to "Circe/Mud Poems," poems about the transformer Circe h ...more
Amy
It's 1974. Can this seemingly insecure poet really be the brilliant Margaret Atwood of the future? Why yes. "Songs of the Transformed" and "Circe/Mud Poems" already contain the the DNA that will evolve (or rather be genetically engineered) into MaddAddam's pigoons:

This is what you changed me to:
a greypink vegetable with slug
eyes, buttock
incarnate, spreading like a slow turnip...
Shannon Donovan
"So much for the gods and their
static demands. our demands, former
demands, death patterns
obscure as fragments of an
archaeology, these frescoes
on a crumbling temple
wall we look at now and can scarcely
piece together

history
is over, we take place
in a season, an undivided
space, no necessities

hold us closed, distort
us. I lean behind you, mouth touching
your spine, my arms around
you, palm above the heart,
your blood insistent under
my hand, quick and mortal"
Pg 95
Sebastian
If I abandoned a baby with nothing but this book and instructions to return to society a poet, I would have created a genius.

Atwood's sense of motion and development of metaphor is astounding, magnificent, horrifying, the lucid and sparse descriptions, it's as if she said "I want to show you where I live" at the end of the tour we went into her closet and ended up in my closet.
Stephany
Recommended to me based on my own writing, this is one of my favorite books. Hers is a voice of power. She inhabits what she chooses and tells it like it is. Uncompromising. Full of terrifying beauty. "The story is ruthless" indeed.
Lydia
Good collection. I liked some poems much better than others. My favorite was "Gothic Letter on a Hot Night." I love reading it when I feel like i cannot write again.
Mary
I read this in my late teens and never realized what an influence it had on my own poetry until recently. Replete with EYE imagery and Atwood's trademark irony.
Tom
I thought this was pretty okay overall, but god, the second section, "Songs of the Transformed," is amazing. I could've read a whole book like that.
Stephanie
I LOVE Margaret Atwood's novels....but I'm definitely not a fan of her poetry.
Hobart Frolley
very moving and beautiful
tracy crenshaw
tracy crenshaw marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2015
Mahreen Khan
Mahreen Khan marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
Meghan Reilly
Meghan Reilly marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Liz Gum
Liz Gum marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2015
Mary
Mary marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2015
Jaime Lee
Jaime Lee marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2015
MJ
MJ marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2015
Julia
Julia marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Kim
Kim marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Courtney
Courtney marked it as to-read
May 10, 2015
Sue Frances
Sue Frances marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
FABClub (Female A...: You Are Happy group discussion 11 7 Mar 25, 2015 08:42AM  
  • Awake
  • Handwriting
  • This Can't Be Life
  • Sun Under Wood
  • Winter Trees
  • After
  • The Morning of the Poem
  • Twenty Prose Poems
  • Like a Beggar
  • Men in the Off Hours
  • Middle Earth: Poems
  • What Is Amazing
  • Eunoia
  • Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems
  • The Poems of Marianne Moore
  • The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart: Poems
  • Ordinary Sun
  • Splinter Factory
3472
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr
...more
More about Margaret Atwood...
The Handmaid's Tale Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) The Blind Assassin The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2) Alias Grace

Share This Book

“Kill what you can't save
what you can't eat throw out
what you can't throw out bury

What you can't bury give away
what you can't give away you must carry with you,
it is always heavier than you thought.”
12 likes
“SPRING POEM

It is spring, my decision, the earth
ferments like rising bread
or refuse, we are burning
last year's weeds, the smoke
flares from the road, the clumped stalks
glow like sluggish phoenixes / it wasn't
only my fault / birdsongs burst from
the feathered pods of their bodies, dandelions
whirl their blades upwards, from beneath
this decaying board a snake
sidewinds, chained hide
smelling of reptile sex / the hens
roll in the dust, squinting with bliss, frogbodies
bloat like bladders, contract, string
the pond with living jelly
eyes, can I be this
ruthless? I plunge
my hands and arms into the dirt,
swim among stones and cutworms,
come up rank as a fox,

restless. Nights, while seedlings
dig near my head

I dream of reconciliations
with those I have hurt
unbearably, we move still
touching over the greening fields, the future
wounds folded like seeds
in our tender fingers, days
I go for vicious walks past the charred
roadbed over the bashed stubble
admiring the view, avoiding
those I have not hurt

yet, apocalypse coiled in my tongue,
it is spring, I am searching
for the word:
finished
finished

so I can begin over
again, some year
I will take this word too far.”
6 likes
More quotes…