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Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood

Dearly: New Poems (edition 2020)

by Margaret Atwood (Author)

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Title:Dearly: New Poems
Authors:Margaret Atwood (Author)
Info:Ecco (2020), 144 pages

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Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood



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Other than a few favorites, I don’t often buy poetry collections in hardcover, but after watching some charming interviews with Margaret Atwood about her new collection, I took the leap. I almost always find her mind and her writing creative and interesting, but I didn’t find her poetry especially engaging. Her poetic images are good and her writing is both playful and serious, but I didn’t feel a strong personal connection with many of her poems. Maybe on my second reading of the collection, familiarity will pull me into her poetry. ( )
  jphamilton | Feb 15, 2021 |
There are some poetry collections that easily lend themselves to review, but for me, this is not one of them. I doubt I could be at all unbiased in my appraisal of Atwood’s latest collection, Margaret and I have been together for many decades now. She is the older Margaret now, and I, the older reader, both of us now with a longer line of sight, plenty of history, humor and wisdom. Like any other volume of poetry, some poems will speak to you, some not. Good, even great poetry such as this, massages the brain while still reaching out to touch the heart, this collection does that.

I cannot assign a star rating to this; it seems silly to evaluate poetry in this way.
  avaland | Jan 16, 2021 |
The artist, gently aging, looks back on her life so far and what does she see? Memories mostly, both precious and painful, of the small moments and the big events that have shaped her existence. Departing from the narrative formats by which most readers are likely to know her work, she chooses to express her reminiscences and messages through poetry. That turns out to be the perfect vehicle for the concise and introspective nature of the whole endeavor, even if it requires a little more effort from those of us who are unaccustomed to the genre.

In Dearly, Margaret Atwood offers more than five dozen (depending on how you choose to count some of the stanzas) short poems on subjects such as the tribulations of getting older and the pain of memory loss in loved ones, changes in our natural world, gender roles, animal rights, and heartbreaking acts of violence. These are clearly topics the author is passionate about and she brings a forceful and thoughtful approach to addressing them all, which is exactly what you would expect from one of our greatest living writers. What I did not expect was to be so moved by her poetry instead of by the more familiar channel of her long-form fiction.

While each of the poems in the volume stands on its own merit, I definitely had several favorites, including ‘Late Poems’, ‘Salt', ‘Souvenirs’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Songs for Murdered Sisters’, ‘Zombie’, ‘Invisible Man’, and ‘Blackberries’, to name a few. I was quite struck by just how powerful and personal some of these verses were, although I have to confess that it was not until I read them for a second time that I felt their real force. Of course, that is my shortcoming and not the author’s; you really cannot read poetry at the same pace or in the same way that your read fiction, which is something I had to remind myself of repeatedly. Still, for both Atwood devotees and those new to her work, Dearly is a book that merits attention. ( )
2 vote browner56 | Oct 21, 2020 |
Many years ago when I was in college, I enjoyed reading poetry but in the years since, I've read very little poetry. This book has changed my mind. I loved it. Like with any collection, some poems were just ok but the majority of these were fantastic and I really enjoyed reading them. Most of the poems are short and Atwood has chosen every word carefully to help not only the cadence of the poem but more importantly the underlying theme. Some of the poems made me smile and some of them made me cry but most of them made me think and feel. I was gifted this book in ebook format but plan to buy a copy in hardcover so that I can keep it on my bookshelf and read some of the poems over and over. ( )
2 vote susan0316 | Aug 16, 2020 |
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