Poetry

Margaret Atwood – Habitation

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert

– Margaret Atwood


Continuing the theme of marriage in poetry from last week’s post of Ada Limón’s Wife, this week The Dewdrop is featuring Margaret Atwood’s Habitation. Using the stark language of cold glaciers and barren deserts, Atwood paints a picture of marriage as something that survives on the very peripheries of primitive forces and natural epics. Not a house or even a tent, it’s a place where we are ‘learning to make fire’, as though we are still in the very first and most primal stages of the endeavor. Read on about love with bell hooks, Thich Nhat Hanh and Molly Peacock.


Habitation

Marriage is not

a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge

of the desert

the unpainted stairs

at the back where we squat

outside, eating popcorn
the edge of the receding glacier
where painfully and with wonder

at having survived even

this far
we are learning to make fire

Margaret Atwood

From: Selected Poems 1965-1975

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