“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
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
will become a thought.
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!