Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Moment by Margaret Atwood

Edited and with an introduction by Sina Queyras - Foreword by Molly Peacock

The Moment
By Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

The only thing I used to know about Canada was that it was up North and very cold.  The first person I met from Canada was Renee Khan at Circling My Head and we became good friends.  Renee died of cancer over a year ago.  I knew her less than a year, but knowing her changed my life.  She was an angel on earth, always encouraging and uplifting others in spite of her own pain and tragedy.  I still recommend her blog because it will open your heart and feed your soul.  Her daughter continues to post there ever so often.
Then I met Erin and felt as if I'd found a soulmate and fellow traveler on my poetic journey.  She just gave me this amazing book of Canadian poets which I read from cover to cover.  It's overflowing with luminous, fabulous, awesome poems, most by people I'd never heard of.  I only knew three of the poets in the book. The foreword by Molly Peacock (one of my favorite poets) is enlightening.  I highly recommend this book.
I also have to mention my same-name friend, Marion.  She's another of my sweet, precious Canadian friends.  She blogs beautifully about nature and her life's journey. 
I'm in the midst of culling books and getting organized...a malady which hits me annually as Fall nears. I read this sentence recently:  “Everyone gets organized at some point, they just might not be around for it,"  and I had a mental image of myself dead and my poor children having to go through my thousands of I'm determined to downsize my book collection to hundreds of books, not counting my poetry, of course.  Yesterday I filled my dining room table with piles of books and Ray boxed them up and took them to the library for the twice weekly sale before I could change my mind.  I feel lighter, much lighter.  As my Mama always says, "You can't take it with you when you go."  My closet is next, God help me. 
Those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Labor Day weekend!!
Love & Blessings,
"A house without books is like a room without windows." ~Heinrich Mann


Ed Pilolla said...

atwood is beautiful. it was always the other way around, seemingly all the time.
i was actually hoping to get organized myself this labor day weekend. i write better knowing my personal infastructure is taken care of.
have a great weekend:)

Kelly said...

Been awhile since I read anything by Margaret Atwood.

I love that quote about getting organized!

I miss you, Marion. Hope your weekend is a good one.

Margaret Pangert said...

(Oops! I replied to the Whitman post... So, my question was, "Are you still in Canada?" And how strange you still may have gotten hit that by the hurricane way up there, depending, of course, on where you were exactly... We just got our power back!)
One of my favorite Canadian short-story writers is Mavis Gallant--
Well, off to a three-day week-end tomorrow eve in the States! Love, me

Ben Ditty said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend :(

Serena said...

I love that poem. Atwood is, in a word, brilliant.

Wishing you a long, laid-back holiday weekend, HRH Dragonfly.:)

Marion said...

Thanks for the amazing comments, y'all. I'm still busy trying to organize while reading 3 books. It's movin' slow, but movin'. LOL! We have LOTS of rain on the way, if one can believe the weather reports, so I'll be doing much more reading when the rain hits. We've had almost no rain all summer. I appreciate you all!!!

T. said...

Thank you for the Atwood poem, to be an author as well as poet, well, such things are possible, I suppose.

Happy Labor Day weekend, I'm going for a swim (suit optional).

ds said...

Wonderful poem, Marion; I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood's. Best of luck with the culling. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, yourself!

erin said...

i do believe, marion, you found my favorite poem in the book. well, one of my favorites. (i reserve the right to change my mind at any time:) ha! and i finally get the package to you when you're culling. oh, sweet irony! but i am glad you have it. i wish i'd have sent this piece of driftwood on my desk and this wasp's nest as well, every little thing natural.

my best to you marion, always.

(just back from America and picking up my children)


Marion said...

T., I'm jealous. I haven't been skinny dipping since we got rid of our pool. I miss it. xoxo

DS, done with culling. I realized I'd already pared down to the bare bones a while back. Still have over a thousand, but they're my true loves. ;-) xo

Erin, NOT culling poetry....EVER. I told my younger daughter I was culling books and she had a big ole hissy fit. Tee-hee. When your kids are grown, they think they own you and all of your possessions, even ratty old used books. I love driftwood, but you sent me the best ever. I'm insanely in love with this book. It's AMAZING!!! Glad you had a safe trip. xoxo