Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 149 - This is a Photograph of Me

For this final post during National Poetry Month, I'd like to share one of my very favorite poems.

Margaret Atwood's This is a Photograph of Me really struck a chord when I first read it in grade 11. At the time I was still into making my poems flow in a beautiful rhythm. Her poem really set me on the path towards using free verse.


Photo by George Whiteside

This is a Photograph of Me

It was taken some time ago
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you can see something in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or how small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion.

but if you look long enough
you will see me.)

- Margaret Atwood

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Gautami Tripathy says Thanks for sharing this. I like Atwoods' works.

Jennie Marsland says Wow! Quite a twist, isn't it?

Marinela says Just beautiful :)


gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for sharing this. I like Atwoods' works.

clouds roll over

Jennie Marsland said...

Wow! Quite a twist, isn't it? I have to confess I'm not an Atwood fan, but this is beautiful.

Akelamalu said...

I like that! :)

Short Poems said...

Just beautiful :)

Travis said...

I once read the novel Cat's Eye by Ms Atwood. I recall that I enjoyed it. Was not aware that she wrote poetry.

You'd think a person such as myself, who enjoys writing poetry, would read more poets. Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

don't think i've read that one of hers before. and marvelous photo, too.

for non-atwood fans - read The Robber Bride. Man, I could not put that book down!