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Poetry General

Morning in the Burned House

by (author) Margaret Atwood

Publisher
McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 1995
Category
General
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780771008337
    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price
    $19.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780771008306
    Publish Date
    Apr 1995
    List Price
    $19.99

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Description

These beautifully crafted poems–by turns dark, playful, intensely moving, tender and intimate–come together as Atwood's most accomplished and versatile gathering of poems to date, “setting foot on the middle ground/between body and word.” Some draw on history, and on myth, both classical and popular. Other, more personal poems concern themselves with love, with the fragility of the natural world, and with death–especially in the elegiac series of meditations on the death of a parent–as they inhabit a contemporary landscape haunted by images of the past.

Generous, compassionate, disturbing, this is poetry that emanates from the heart of human experience and seeks balance between the luminous realm of memory and the realities of everyday, between darkness and light, the capacity to perpetrate and the strength to forgive.

Morning in the Burned House is infused with breathtaking insight, technical virtuosity, and a clarity of vision that has the force to change the way we look at our lives.

About the author


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 fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.
Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. 

Margaret Atwood's profile page

Awards

  • Winner, Trillium Book Award

Excerpt: Morning in the Burned House (by (author) Margaret Atwood)

THE MOMENT
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
S
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

Editorial Reviews

“Margaret Atwood brings all the violence of mythology into the present world…She is the quiet Mata Hari, the mysterious, violent figure.…who pits herself against the ordered, too-clean world like an arsonist.”
–Michael Ondaatje,The Canadian Forum

“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 writes pieces that invent memory for the reader; the duration and the delicate resonance of her remains in the mind as natural things.”
–John Newlove

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