Selected Poems II Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986 Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986 by Margaret Atwood
670 ratings, 4.25 average rating, 29 reviews
Open Preview
Selected Poems II Quotes (showing 1-14 of 14)
Variation on the Word Sleep

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head.

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

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, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“I want, I don’t want.
How can one live with such a heart?”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
tags: want
“Here is a handful
of shadow I have brought back to you:
this decay, this hope, this mouth-
ful of dirt, this poetry.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“Nothing like love to put blood
back in the language,
the difference between the beach and its
discrete rocks and shards, a hard
cuneiform, and the tender cursive
of waves; bone and liquid fishegg, desert
and saltmarsh, a green push
out of death. The vowels plump
again like lips or soaked fingers, and the fingers
themselves move around these
softening pebbles as around skin. The sky's
not vacant and over there but close
against your eyes, molten, so near
you can taste it. It tastes of
salt. What touches you is what you touch.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“You will flicker in these words
and in the words of others
for a while and then go out.

Even if I send them,
you will never get these letters.
Even if I see you again,

I will never see you again.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“Language, like the mouths that hold and release it, is wet & living, each   word is wrinkled with age, swollen with other words, with blood, smoothed by the numberless flesh tongues that have passed across it.   Your language hangs around your neck, a noose, a heavy necklace; each word is empire, each word is vampire and mother.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“Most hearts say, I want, I want,
I want, I want. My heart
is more duplicitous,
though to twin as I once thought.
It says, I want, I don’t want, I
want, and then a pause.
It forces me to listen,”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“All hearts float in their own
deep oceans of no light,
wetblack and glimmering,
their four mouths gulping like fish.
Hearts are said to pound:
this is to be expected, the heart’s
regular struggle against being drowned.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“This is “poetry,” this song
of the wind across teeth,
this message from the flayed tongue
to the flayed ear.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“With you I could have
more than one skin,
a blank interior, a repertoire
of untold stories,
a fresh beginning.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“It is spring, and the night wind
is moist with the smell of turned loam
and the early flowers;
the moon pours out its beauty
which you see as beauty finally,
warm and offering everything.
You have only to take.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“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 in your own time. When the appearances of things have left you, you will still have this darkness. Something of your own you can carry with you.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“bone tunnel”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986
“A doll is a witness who cannot die, with a doll you are never alone.   On the long journey under the earth, in the boat with two prows, there were always dolls.”
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986

All Quotes
Quotes By Margaret Atwood
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game