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Two-Headed Poems

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Paperback, 115 pages
Published December 31st 1980 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1978)
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Anatha Latshaw
2.5/5 stars. I was kind of disappointed in this collection, but that doesn't mean that there weren't a few that didn't make my heart ache in the right way. (That, and I liked it a lot better than Selected Poems by Oscar Wilde, which got 2 stars, so it didn't feel like it fit into the same category).

Though most of the poems in this collection were less than memorable (or so I felt), the following five stuck with me (listed in order least to most favored):

1. The Man With a Hole in His Throat
2. Yo
Aug 28, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Atwood's poems have a rich density to them that I am not sure I always like. I keep trying her, because sometimes I come across something that really speaks volumes. Reading her though, sometimes feels like I am toiling in mud to find the thing I want. The words sometimes fall into a basket of words accumulating in my body. Sometimes I want lightness and words that float through me, and tremble in the air.
Nov 16, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
Back in 1978 a young Margaret Atwood is mired in the domestic, raising a small child, making apple jelly, sewing clothes and such, but this is what her X-mas tree looks like:

A tree hulks in the living-/room, prickly monster, our hostage from the wilderness,

and when someone gives her a cactus she asks,

It did not grow or flower./ It could not be touched/ without pain; finally/ it could not be touched/ What was it you wanted/ to say or offer?
Aug 16, 2016 Cassey rated it it was ok
I have always been a fan of Atwood's work, but I just felt like some of these poems were just too-far out there for me...I think if I had a guide to walk me through some of the deeper meanings here, I might have gotten more out of it...I think this is a book I will need to reread 20 years down the line as I didn't feel a connection to many of the life events represented here.
Oct 04, 2012 Sebastian rated it liked it
A number of exceptional poems, but I forget which collection of Atwood's poetry I'm reading, her voice begrudging in its consistence.

I won't discount the hard work that went into this collection, however; Atwood's craftsmanship is evident. Nothing feels casual or cast-off, as if she spent decades writing this collection.
Stephanie Kelley
Jul 13, 2014 Stephanie Kelley rated it liked it
some of these did nothing for me (maybe because i'm not a parent, nor have i ever farmed) but as usual many glimmers of light & some real gems, especially "marrying the hangman" & "the woman who could not live with her faulty heart"
Aug 17, 2014 Carly rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was not like the last book of poetry that I read of Atwoods. There weren't as many that hit me hard and make me think, hence the star rating not as high.

But I still love the Atwood!
Apr 08, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Atwoood, fans of feminist poetry
Another wonderful collection from Atwood. Some of the poems lost me a bit, but the ones that were flat-out brilliant ("Two-Headed Poem" being a prime example) made up for that.
Apr 20, 2015 Allie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, place-canada
I love reading Atwood's poems and thinking about them in relation to the chronology of her novels, which is to say pre-Handmaid's Tale and post. This one was good, but lagged in the middle.
Jun 13, 2015 Alexa rated it liked it
Shelves: fab-15
Overall, this seems like a much more domestic collection then her previous ones, dealing with matters like children, gardening, and cooking. I liked it!
Mark Valentine
Mar 01, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it liked it
The poem that I connected with the best was "Heart." Atwood's language is so rich, though, many of these resonate.
Apr 19, 2010 C rated it really liked it
Two Miles Away
Foretelling the Future
Poems for Dolls #4
Footnote to the Amnesty Report on Torture
The Woman Makes Peace With Her Faulty Heart
All Bread
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
FABClub (Female A...: Two-Headed Poems group discussion 6 5 May 18, 2015 03:54AM  
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  • The Far Field
  • The Men: A Lyric Book
  • Breath
  • Aureole: An Erotic Sequence
  • Handwriting
  • One Stick Song
  • Short Talks
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • The Irrationalist
  • The Unswept Room
  • Wood
  • Collected Poems, 1912-1944
  • Railtracks
  • News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness
  • No Language Is Neutral
  • Even this Page is White
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 about Margaret Atwood...

Share This Book

“How can I teach her
some way of being human
that won't destroy her

I would like to tell her, Love
is enough, I would like to say,
Find shelter in another skin.

I would like to say, Dance
and be happy. Instead I will say
in my crone’s voice, Be
ruthless when you have to, tell
the truth when you can,
when you can see it.”
“You can’t live here without breathing
someone else’s air,
air that has been used to shape
these hidden words that are not yours.”
More quotes…