Saturday, November 19, 2011

Poem In Your Post Blog Hop: The animals in that country



In that country the animals  
have the faces of people:

the ceremonial
cats possessing the streets

the fox run
politely to earth, the huntsmen  
standing around him, fixed  
in their tapestry of manners

the bull, embroidered
with blood and given
an elegant death, trumpets, his name  
stamped on him, heraldic brand  
because

(when he rolled
on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth  
in his blue mouth were human)

he is really a man

even the wolves, holding resonant  
conversations in their  
forests thickened with legend.

            In this country the animals  
            have the faces of  
            animals.

            Their eyes
            flash once in car headlights  
            and are gone.

            Their deaths are not elegant.

            They have the faces of  
            no-one.

                      - Margaret Atwood

   Leave it to Atwood to once again show us ourselves as she reminds us of other worlds.  I'd been haunted - as have some of my students - not by the heroes in our myths, but by the "monsters" and the dead.  Atwood reminds me that at least those characters held magic, and were imbued with a certain gravitas that today we do not often afford the creatures we encounter.
   Offer us a poem out of your experience today, one you've create or one you admire.  (Copy it into the comments and/or link to a post on your own site.)



MFB,
L

2 comments:

Robyn said...

What a beautiful poem. I love the use of needlework allusions..."tapestry" and "embroidered". The images of animals disappearing out of our headlights. I'll have to try to think of a poem today and hop along.

Laurie said...

That would be wonderful, Robyn. Your comment prompted me to reread the entire poem: how had I missed that detail? It makes me wonder if the country to which Atwood's referring is actually a prior time period rather than a place (or both). The more I read this poem, the more I see.

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