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Source: Flickr.com

“If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending…
But if it’s a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone.
You don’t tell a story only to yourself. There’s always someone else. Even when there is no one.” 
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Hello Dear Poets-

Welcome to Open Link Night where you are invited to share one poem of your choosing, be it new or old. You can also choose to write to one of the prompts you may have missed this past week. 

Before I share a couple of poems for you to enjoy, I wanted to share this announcement from the dVerse team:

Just a reminder, our first OLN LIVE of 2023 will be on Thursday, January 19th from 3 to 4 PM EST. There will be a link on the prompt to bring you to our LIVE session. Folks can either read a poem of their choice, or simply come to listen. AND for the first time ever, to be more inclusive of dVersers across the globe and in many time zones, we will ALSO OFFER OLN LIVE on SATURDAY MORNING, January 21st from 10 to 11 AM EST. We hope you’ll join us at one or both sessions. The more the merrier!

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the writings of Margaret Atwood, one of Canada’s finest living writers. I first became interested through The Handmaid’s Tale, which is an amazing tale (and eerily similar to what we see happening in today’s world). Here’s a snippet about The Handmaid’s Tale:

In The Handmaid’s Tale … she casts subtlety aside, exposing woman’s primal fear of being used and helpless.” Atwood, however, believes that her vision is not far from reality. Speaking to Battiata, Atwood noted that “The Handmaid’s Tale does not depend upon hypothetical scenarios, omens, or straws in the wind, but upon documented occurrences and public pronouncements; all matters of record.”

Source: The Poetry Foundation

Below are a couple of poems by her that I love:

Carrying Food Home in Winter

– Margaret Atwood

I walk uphill through the snow

hard going

brown paper bags of groceries

balanced low on my stomach,

heavy, my arms stretching

to hold it turn all tendon

Do we need this paper bag

my love, do we need this bulk

of peels and cores, do we need

these bottles, these roots

and bits of cardboard

to keep us floating

as if on a raft

above the snow I sink through?

The skin creates

islands of warmth

in winter, in summer

islands of coolness.

The mouth performs

a similar deception.

I say I will transform

this egg into a muscle

this bottle into an act of love

This onion will become a motion

this grapefruit

will become a thought.

Crow Song

-Margaret Atwood

In the arid sun, over the field 

where the corn has rotted and then 

dried up, you flock and squabble. 

Not much here for you, my people, 

but there would be 



In my austere black uniform  

I raised the banner  

which decreed Hope 

and which did not succeed  

and which is not allowed. 

Now I must confront the angel  

who says Win, 

who tells me to wave any banner  

that you will follow 

for you ignore me, my 

baffled people, you have been through 

too many theories 

too many stray bullets 

your eyes are gravel, skeptical, 

in this hard field  

you pay attention only  

to the rhetoric of seed  

fruit stomach elbow. 

You have too many leaders 

you have too many wars, 

all of them pompous and small, 

you resist only when you feel 

like dressing up, 

you forget the sane corpses … 

Just a reminder:  OLN means you can post ONE poem of your choosing (no specified form, length, word prompt etc)

Also, we request you either TAG dVerse or include a line at the end of your post that includes a link back to dVerse.

Those of you new to dVerse, here’s how to participate:

  • Post any poem of your choosing on your blog or website.
  • Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name and enter the direct URL to your poem
  • On your blog, please provide a link back to dVerse. This enables others to enjoy our prompts, increases our readership and thus increases the responses to everyone’s poems. 
  • If you promote your poem on social media, use the tag #dverse poets
  • And most importantly, please do read some of the other responses to the prompt and add a short comment or reaction. Everyone likes to be appreciated! The prompt is “live” for several days – as you’ll notice by the comments you’ll receive – so do stop by another day and read a few of the latecomers too!