For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.
Happy Poetry Friday! A winter solstice poem today by Margaret Atwood, who has written many more poems that people usually suspect! Hope y'all are able to keep warm (if you're in my vicinity or one of the other cold spots). Sending love to you all, wherever you are.
excerpt from SHAPECHANGERS IN WINTER
by Margaret Atwood
This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath, the door
of a vanished house left ajar.
Taking hands like children
lost in a six-dimensional
forest, we step across.
The walls of the house fold themselves down,
and the house turns
itself inside out, as a tulip does
in its last full-blown moment, and our candle
flares up and goes out, and the only common
sense that remains to us is touch,
as it will be, later, some other
century, when we will seem to each other
even less what we were.
But that trick is just to hold on
through all appearances; and so we do,
and yes, I know it’s you;
and that is what we will come to, sooner
or later, when it’s even darker
than It is now, when the snow is colder,
when it’s darkest and coldest
and candles are no longer any use to us
and the visibility is zero: Yes.
It’s still you. It’s still you.
by Mary Oliver
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird
with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us
he wants to go to sleep,
but he's restless—
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake
But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last...
read the rest here
Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!
Oh, my goodness...two incredible poems. What a duet you've got going on this week. Margaret Atwood just amazes me every time I read her. Her voice is so unique. "It is still you...It is still you." So beautiful. Mary Oliver. Only she can make us the wind-bird and the wind-bird us. Thanks for the beauty. Ariana's gnome is super cute!
Both such haunting winter poems! The Atwood poem made me think about winter solstice more deeply, with words like "unlocking" and "a place of caught breath." So much I'd like to return to and think about here on this night where I live, which is cold and dark.
Thanks, Tabatha, love Arianna's gnome, & Atwood's somber solstice response, especially "the place of caught breath" and that bird, beating its wings to stay awake, is that us, trying to effect change? Merry Christmas!
I love Arianna's gnome! And I share your wonder about Margaret Atwood the Poet. Her poem "The Moment" is one I return to. https://genius.com/Margaret-atwood-the-moment-annotated. xo
Such a beautiful pairing of poems, Tabatha. I've not been much of a solstice-noticer, till this year. And I love the line: "the still point/of the sun, its cusp and midnight" - as though we can keep still the sun! Sigh!
Thanks for this fantastic pair of Solstice poems. I'll hold the Atwood lines in my head as I finish stitching my Solstice sun mandala!
Both such beautiful poems whose phrases will continue to sing through the season. You are right, I was not familiar with Margaret Atwood's poetry, until now. Thank you.
Ariana's gnome is wonderful, it has such character!!! I like Atwood's "the house turns/itself inside out", and the mixed-up mystery here! And Mary Oliver's
" of some unimaginable bird
that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent—
that has turned itself
Great pairing of poems Tabatha, thanks for both!
Hope you and family are keeping warm, brrr, it sure is cold here in Chicago. My husband and I went out for a quick walk. I wasn't cold I was so bundled but I think the cold made it harder to breathe–thankful for our warm home.
Merry Christmas! ⭐️🌲🦉
Gnome-body chooses the perfect poem pairing quite like you do, Tabatha. Warm hugs from afar. :), Bridget
An inspired pairing, Tabatha. Both of these poems capture this time of year so evocatively. Love the Atwood quote too. And Ariana's gnome made me smile. :)
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