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Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  702 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Celebrated as a major novelist throughout the English-speaking world, Atwood has also written eleven volumes of poetry. Houghton Mifflin is proud to have published SELECTED POEMS, 1965-1975, a volume of selections from Atwood's poetry of that decade.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 5th 1987 by Mariner Books (first published 1986)
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Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fab-15, summer-15
A collection of poems from Two-Headed Poems, True Stories and Interlunar, with seventeen new poems. Revisiting old friends is always fun! The new ones seem to cover a variety of themes on death, musings about aging and mortality (and I find it amusing that the now-mid-70s Atwood felt compelled to write these in her 40s – I can’t help wondering what her current self would have to say to that self.) There are also a lot of gruesome images here of death and war – which are not pleasant reading!

Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Long ago I was reading Mary Daly's Gynocology and the weight of its content had me bouncing off the walls of my little apartment and my exploding brain. I inarticulately mentioned this to the dykes next door and one of them said hey have you read this?

Such comfort in her precise and metered rage and grief, her helpless tenderness, her wry and self-doubting devotion to love. The woman who wrote these poems was so clearly living open-eyed in the world Daly described, never denying the relationship
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favourites
Because sometimes a poem is all it takes for me to come undone. For years and years, this poem. Always.
The Woman Who Could Not Live With Her Faulty Heart
Margaret Atwood

I do not mean the symbol
of love, a candy shape
to decorate cakes with,
the heart that is supposed
to belong or break;

I mean this lump of muscle
that contracts like a flayed biceps,
purple-blue, with its skin of suet,
its skin of gristle, this isolate,
this caved hermit, unshelled
turtle, this one lungful of blood,
no happy plateful.

All hea
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeannette by: Meredith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Huxtable
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I'm going to have to buy Atwood's poetry collections. It was too hard to digest as a library loan. I think Atwood is just amazing, and I am forever grateful to my college friend Judy for introducing me to her.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-author, poetry
Helped me deal with political and romantic heartache simultaneously!
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-a-copy, poetry
Atwood writes her novels a bit like poetry, so reading her poetry feels very familiar to me. I love how in many of her poems she's giving a voice to an otherwise voiceless character in history/mythology. She has a lovely series of poems in here from Eurydice's point of view. I definitely have to go back and refresh my memory of these mythological stories to really get where the poem is coming from, but they are worth it.

Atwood's poetry is dark and funny and beautiful and graphic. Very powerful,
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Atwood, described by one poet as Mata Hara, doesn’t flinch from reporting humankind’s most violent, cruel, and grotesque moments.
She goes for the reader’s jugular. But she can also write exquisitely beautiful and entertainingly amusing pieces. Many of my favorite poems are about animals, aging, and vivid descriptions of the interior of our bodies: “All hearts float in their own/deep oceans of no light,/wetblack and glimmering,/their four mouths gulping like fish.” In “Flying inside Your Own Body
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Did you know that before she was a world-class novelist, Atwood was a world-class poet too? This collection was of particulari ntertest for me, because it documents her poetic writing from around the same time that she was writing The Handmaid's Tale, which everyone is watching on Hulu now. Atwood writes with an eery combination of concrete images and dark mysticism that makes every poem strike a chord in your chest you didn't know was there. As this collection progresses, you can see her growin ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This took me a while to read, because it was quite heavy with language and symbolism I wasn't familiar with. Reading it made me think, which I am very grateful for because that is one of the main reasons why I read books at all. I enjoyed entertaining many of the ideas in the book, even though they were not all things that I would a..gree on. The most inspiring aspect of this was Atwood's way of viewing the most mundane parts of life and describing them so beautifully, with such appreciation. Th ...more
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FABClub (Female A...: Selected Poems II group discussion 6 11 Sep 15, 2015 11:39AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Adding another edition of a book 12 32 Aug 30, 2015 11:23AM  
  • The First Four Books of Poems
  • Sweet Machine
  • As Seen on TV: Provocations
  • Uncollected Poems
  • The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy
  • Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems, 1960-1990
  • Life Studies and For the Union Dead
  • One Stick Song
  • This Clumsy Living
  • Red Suitcase
  • White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems, 1946-2006
  • New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001
  • The Good Thief
  • Tell Me
  • What We Carry
  • The Poets Laureate Anthology
  • She Had Some Horses
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...
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.”
“I want, I don’t want.
How can one live with such a heart?”
More quotes…