Pages

Monday, March 06, 2006

Reader's Diary #44- Margaret Atwood: Selected Poems II (FINISHED!)


Dear Margaret, I love your lovable lunatic ways and even your zany Canadarm Pen, but it's time we parted ways for a little while.
It's me, not you. So don't beat yourself up over this. I'm a terrible reader of poems. I'm lazy- I rush through. I don't research the Greek myths. So me liking one of your poems is mostly up to chance, likewise me disliking them, likewise me understanding them.

I know you hate when I do this, but an ex of mine once said, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." Well, it's just that your truth sometimes feels completely flipped over on its ass. No, no that's harsh. It's me, I'm missing something when you say things like
"The hookworm, in the eye of/ the universe, which is the unsteady gaze/ of eternity maybe, is beloved." - from Three Praises
Perhaps we're just from different worlds, you and I. And no, it's not the werewolf thing.*

I want you to know though that I did cherish some of our poems together. Squaw Lilies was a gem. I really respected your views on human interpretation and our nasty habit of labeling- even though I wonder what choice we have. And I swear I wasn't turned off by fear of getting older. Honestly. Though three Aging Female Poet poems may have been a bit much. I'm just saying.

If we're being perfectly honest with one another, there were times when I thought you were a little self-centered. The Words Continue Their Journey, Aging Female Poet Reads Little Magazines and well, we don't have to rehash this. I think I've hurt you enough already.

And I'll look back fondly at the time we shared on Georgia Beach, being in A Boat with you, and especially when we took the Bus to Alliston together. I can only hope that you will remember me as well.

Let's stay in touch,
John

(* The werewolf thing:

Exhibit L: "...in the watery moonlight..." - from The Robber Bridegroom

Exhibit M: "...the moon pours out its beauty..." - from No Name

Exhibit N: Interlunar

Exhibit O: "...moonstruck treetrunks..." - from (Brace yourself!) Werewolf Movies

Exhibit P: "...the moon to a disc you could aim at..." - from Machine. Gun. Nest.

Exhibit Q: "...and the new moon sheds grace..." - from Galianio Coast

Exhibit R: Not The Moon

I rest my case.)

4 comments:

Robert said...

Wow! What fun, informative literary critique!

Who needs to read Margaret Atwood when you can read a great reader's diary like this.

Sure b'y said...

You do know that Margaret (shudder) Wente said that anyone who gave a bad review of one of Atwood's books would never work in Canada again. I wonder if her powers extend to teachers who blog?

John Mutford said...

I remember that article. But if we were to lose another Margaret in Canada, it should be Wente, not Atwood. Yeah, perhaps I was a little harsh on Selected Poems II, but I did say earlier that the Road to Alliston is in my top favourite poems. And I do like her novels a lot. That should count for something right? Please Ms. Atwood- don't sic your hounds on me!

Sure b'y said...

Yeah, stay away from John or we'll get our silver bullets out.

I think your reviews were balanced (and funny).