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A Poem to Margaret Atwood

by Chris Sorrenti

You were painting a literary picture

the first time I saw you on TV

standing at the podium

an abstract politician

confident    assured

and the women you were speaking to

responded like an army

for even though they were sitting still

their collective face held a sublime vibration

The more you read

the more I wished

I had written those words

as you told your sisters

it was time to rise up

take up the cause

but in a peaceful way

as all your spoken images

moved me in that special direction

coming together to form a picture

that I will never forget

Not so surprising an accomplished poetess

but Canadian at that

© 1980
Inputted and revised © 2015, 2018

330 hits as of February 2020


Author's Note: Back in the early days, when I realized that I was a poet, I began to seek out the work of other poets, apart from the musicians/lyricists that initially inspired me. In Grade 11 English, one of my favorite text books was titled Poetry of Relevance. It was an eclectic combination of poetry and song lyrics, old and new, and analysis of the meaning of the various pieces. I learned a lot from that book, and through it was introduced to the work of Canadian poets, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Margaret Atwood. Yes, believe it or not, before Atwood started writing novels, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, she was an accomplished poet. The above poem was inspired by her appearance in a TV documentary. As the poem suggests, I was clearly blown away by her reading. The mention of Canada at the end of my poem is a subtle reference to the 60s and 70s, when apart from the few, Canadian talent and art in general had yet to be recognized and have the major impact on the world that it would in the coming years.

Posted on 08/25/2018
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 08/25/18 at 01:23 PM

I had heard of her but until now did not stop to pay attention. In your poem, your emotional involvement is palpable. I admire he openness to other views and awareness of circumstances of being a woman in a patriarchal society. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/25/18 at 03:53 PM

I, too, had heard the name but never read her poems which I dove into after reading this fine tribute to her. Love this line - "their collective face held a sublime vibration" Thanks, Chris!

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