Finally! Poetry I adore that is understandable and speaks to me. Atwood never steers me wrong. I made the mistake of reading this book in the library, as some of her poems moved me to tears and I felt very foolish sniffling in front of dozens of people. One of the poems is about a cat named Blackie dying, and at the time I had an ailing, elderly cat named Blackie, who ended up dying a month later.
All of her poems were just beautiful. Atwood wrote about the difficulty being a poet and writing, the difficulty of aging, how she felt looking at two war pictures and seeing two dead bodies, several poems about her husband, her children, and gardening. They're mostly quiet, introspective poems that seem to dip right into my head and draw out my own thoughts, only articulated much better than I ever could.
A mostly graceful, tactile collection of poetry that succeeds most often where it invites you to match your own interior landscape with visceral images and themes, and occasionally fails (particularly in the lengthier pieces that close the book) where it prescribes too much and reduces your freedom to relate.