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The Door

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  113 reviews
The Door, Margaret Atwood’s first book of poetry since her award-winning Morning in the Burned House, is a magnificent achievement. These fifty lucid, urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to meditative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political, viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry itself, as well a ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published November 7th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
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Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm an aesthete, a philosophaster and a romantic, which probably explains why I didn't enjoy this collection all that much. See, I find bliss in melody and rhythm; in complexity and ambiguity; and in the relation—essential to so much poetry—between form and content. Atwood's verse, however, is straight-forward and unadorned, with an ostensible didactic quality. In short, her poetry reads a lot like her non-fiction (indeed, Atwood had previously explored many of the themes and subjects of this bo ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Margaret Atwood what can't you do. this was good collection of poetry. some are better than others, but overall the collection was wonderful
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: margaret-atwood
Oh, Margaret Atwood, I do love thee.

With that said, I am ashamed to say that I have not read any of her poetry previously. I am not much of a poetry reader; or, more specifically, I'm a serious poetry snob and find myself turning my nose up at anything that leaves me feeling anything remotely similar to indifference, which is my opinion on a lot of modern poetry. So the poets I do like are ones I hold near and dear because they made me feel something in a handful of poems, and even the ones that
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2011, poetry
I recently finished The Edible Woman, and it was interesting to read Margaret Atwood at the other end - poems instead of novel, in this millennium instead of the 1960s.

Atwood is always so sharp, in the way where I think I know where she's headed and she grabs me, twists me around, and makes me hurt or laugh. God, I love having that kind of reaction to a poem. It is rare. These are perfectly measured in that way.

The surprise in this volume was the CD in back, with poems read by Atwood herself. I
Marianne Søiland
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Variabel, men totalt sett god. Ikke like enkel å få has på denne diktsamlingens om noen av de andre. Det kan jo være meg...
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not typically a poetry-reviewer, but I did enjoy the poems within this book greatly. But just keep in mind then that my rating is solely on enjoyment, and not of a critical nature.

Some of the lines in this book seemed eerily prophetic, which was very engaging.
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Originally I had this down as 3 stars, but then I flipped through it again just to make sure, and thought it deserved 4. Atwood writes with an educated simplicity that make most of her poems readable and enjoyable, but not trivial.

I found a few poems annoying, (dead cats) but I would classify the book as a whole as a worthwhile read.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry

For the majority a very morbid set of poems ...

White Cotton T-Shirt

White cotton T-shirt: an innocent garnment then.
It made its way to us from the war, but we didn't know that.
For us it was the vestment of summer,
whiter than white, shining with whiteness
because it had been washed in blood, but we didn't know that,
and on the cropped sleeve, rolled up tightly
into a cuff, we tucked the cigarettes,
also white within their packet, also innocent,
as were white panties, white convertibles,
white-blonde bru
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
It's always fun to read Atwood. While some of the poems were better than others, i thought the titular final poem was fantastic.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I'm not sure how to rate this. Majority of the "poems" here seem to be poetic prose rather than poetry. But I did immensely enjoy the few that I did enjoy. 2.5? A nice midway rating.
Francine Maessen
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Soms ben ik bang dat Atwood tegen zal vallen, maar deze bundel gaf me alles wat ik in haar poëzie zoek.
Patricia Lyn Hutchins
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"We were born with morality's
hook in us, and year by year it drags us
where we're going: down. But

surely there is still
a job to be done by us, at least
time to be passed; for instance, we could
celebrate inner beauty. Gardens.
Love and desire. Lust. Children. Social justice
of various kinds. Include fear and war.
Describe what it is to be tired. Now
we're getting there. But this is much
too pessimistic! Hey, we've got
each other, and a roof, and regular
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Meh. The better poems here are knock-you-on-your-ass fantastic, which means the gap between them and the over-earnest clunkers is vast and chasmic. Too many of these poems are entirely dismissable, and I say that a great Atwood devotee. I'm not saying she should stick to novels, because (again) the good ones are damn good, but this does feel like Michael Jordan playing baseball at times.

Here's one of the better:


Your children cut their hands on glass
by reaching t
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
i listened to this book, thinking that poetry should be heard, you know? all those pretty things that poets put into their works--alliteration, assonance, rhythm, etc.

and i have to say that listening to it was pretty horrible.

the reader (CD included with the book) sounded like she needed some serious antidepressants. why do readers of poetry insist on being outliers, either (like this one) somnolent, or else shrieking at you? is there not some middle ground? or at least, can we get the whole sp
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
"The world becomes one huge deep vowel of horror, while behind those mildewed flags, the slogans that always rhyme with dead, sit a few old guys making money."
from "Owl and Pussycat, Some Years Later"

Atwood can do it all: her fiction is amazing, her non-fiction is inspirational, and her poetry is beautiful, even when it's just as dark and sometimes morbid (a poem describing a beautiful dead woman) as her other works. (It's real, though, which is the best thing about it.) Some themes running thro
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Classic Atwood! Bizarre metaphors, astounding verses and soul-crushing philosophy - earthy, visceral and lusty. But I somehow couldn't find that spine-tingling sparkle that was there in her earlier collections. Read with a pencil in hand, mark the passages that make you swoon, keep it away. Read it again every six months.
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm bummed out. I have been hearing Margaret Atwood's voice in my head lo, these many years since I began reading her books. Turns out this voice is nothing like her actual voice, which you can hear if you listen to the CD that comes with the book. Does everything have to have special features now?
Richard Wright
Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A mostly graceful, tactile collection of poetry that succeeds most often where it invites you to match your own interior landscape with visceral images and themes, and occasionally fails (particularly in the lengthier pieces that close the book) where it prescribes too much and reduces your freedom to relate.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, poetry
I have read several of Margaret Atwood's books and stories before, but I had not read her poetry. My loss. She writes beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking poems about life, death, war, and remembrance in a very approachable, grounded, and tactile style.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it liked it
I love Atwood!!! My favorite line so far is from Owl and Pussycat, some years later. It reads:

In ten years, you'll be on a stamp,
where anyone at all can lick you.
X-ray Iris
Dec 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I'm listening to the included CD: Oh, how I love to hear Atwood read her poetry.
Nuwani Perez
I’m not A huge fan of poetry but u thought I’d give this one a go. And it was a good experience as I enjoyed Atwood’s collection a lot. I enjoyed how she gave me a glimpse of her life through a box of jigsaw puzzle pieces that I had to put together. Both my favourite poems were about love, but my absolute favourite was of her husband’s singing behind closed doors which equated as an act of a stranger.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The Door opens to the cellar and or the attic of Margaret Atwood. You, second person, show up with high frequency in just about every poem or speaking version of direct poetry garage sales. Too much you and not enough me, first person, goes the elegiac song between childhood and adulthood and the distance between reader and speaker.

My favorite poems were “Butterfly,” about the speaker’s father, “You Heard the Man You Love,” and “The Door,” the titular if not ultimate one.
Stacey Bookerworm
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In general, I am not a fan of poetry, but I will make an exception for poetry by Margaret Atwood. The Door is my favourite of her poetry collections.

Read more of our review here:
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Have been dipping into this for months. Putting it on the bookshelf now but shall continue to dip. There are a lot of poems here. A few favourites: Blackie in Antarctica, Bear Lament, The Line: Five Variations, One Day you will Reach, Reindeer Moss on Granite.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is what got me into poetry. Someone from my hometown sent this collection to me after I won an essay contest in middle school at our public library. I attribute an era of my life to this one, lol...would love to flip through again soon, see if I feel the same as the very young me
Décio Coelho
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"(...) this face was, once,
when he was an anxious little boy
balanced on tiptoe, staring into the mirror
and asking, Why can’t I be good?
and later, Are these my real parents?
and later still, Why does love hurt so much?
and even later, Who causes wars?”
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just beautiful.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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
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“It must have been an endless breathing in: between the wish to know and the wish to praise there was no seam.” 5 likes
“In ten years, you'll be on a stamp /
where anyone at all can lick you.”
More quotes…