The Door

Paperback | September 8, 2009

byMargaret Atwood

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The Door is Margaret Atwood’s lyrical book of poetry that followed the the award-winning Morning in the Burned House (1995). Its fifty lucid yet 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 as the passage of time and our shared sense of mortality. The collection begins with poems that consider the past and ends with harbingers of things to come.

Brave and compassionate, The Door interrogates the certainties that we build our lives on.

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From the Publisher

The Door is Margaret Atwood’s lyrical book of poetry that followed the the award-winning Morning in the Burned House (1995). Its fifty lucid yet 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 ...

From the Jacket

“Atwood’s poems are short, glistening with terse, bright images, untentative, closing like a vise. . . . A plain, explicit poetry, perfectly sure of itself.” — New York Times“Margaret Atwood is best known, of course, as a novelist. But she brings to her poetry the same sharp eye and stinging wit.” — Robert Haas, Washington Post“Atwood ...

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. A ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:128 pages, 8.44 × 5.3 × 0.32 inPublished:September 8, 2009Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771008473

ISBN - 13:9780771008474

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Read from the Book

GASOLINEShivering in the almost-drizzleinside the wooden outboard,nose over gunwale,I watched it drip and spreadon the sheenless water:the brightest thing in wartime,a slick of rainbow,ephemeral as insect wings,green, blue, red, and pink,my shimmering private sideshow.Was this my best toy, then?This toxic smudge, this overspillfrom a sloppy gascan filledwith essence of danger?I knew that it was poison,its beauty an illusion:I could spell flammable.But still, I loved the smell:so alien, a whiffof starstuff.I would have liked to drink it,inhale its iridescence.As if I could.That's how gods lived: as if.  EUROPE ON $5 A DAYSunrise. The thin pocked sheetsare being washed. The city's old,but new to me, and thereforestrange, and therefore fresh.Everything's clear, but flat –even the oculist's dingy eyes,even the butcher's, with its painted horse,its trays of watery entrailsand slabs of darkening flesh.I walk along,looking at everything equally.I've got all I own in this bag.I've cut myself off.I can feel the placewhere I used to be attached.It's raw, as when you grateyour finger. It's a shredded messof images. It hurts.But where exactly on meis this torn-off stem?Now here, now there.Meanwhile the other girl,the one with the memory,is coming nearer and nearer.She's catching up to me,trailing behind her, like red smoke,the rope we share.From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

I
Gasoline
Europe on $5 a day
Year of the Hen
Resurrecting the dolls' house
Blackie in Antarctica
Mourning for cats
January
Butterfly
My mother dwindles . . .
Crickets
 
II
The poet has come back . . .
Heart
Your children cut their hands . . .
Sor Juana works in the garden
Owl and Pussycat, some years later
The poets hang on
Poetry reading
A poor woman learns to write
The singer of owls
 
III
Ten o'clock news
The weather
It's autumn
Bear lament
Ice palace
Secrecy
The last rational man
White cotton T- shirt
War photo
War photo 2
Nobody cares who wins
The Valley of the Heretics
Saint Joan of Arc on a postcard
The hurt child
They give evidence
 
IV
Enough of these discouragements
Possible activities
Questioning the dead
The nature of Gothic
The line: five variations
Another visit to the Oracle
 
V
Boat song
Dutiful
String tail
Stealing the Hummingbird Cup
One day you will reach . . .
Disturbed earth
Reindeer moss on granite
The Third Age visits the Arctic
You heard the man you love
At Brute Point
The door
 
Acknowledgements


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“Atwood’s poems are short, glistening with terse, bright images, untentative, closing like a vise.... A plain, explicit poetry, perfectly sure of itself.” The New York Times “Margaret Atwood is best known, of course, as a novelist. But she brings to her poetry the same sharp eye and stinging wit.” The Washington Post “Margaret Atwood’s The Door is one of the best books by one of the best poets writing in English, written in a sparse, elegiac tone that combines illuminating intelligence with caustic humour, and wisdom that for once truly comes with age.” Alberto Manguel, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year