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Spelling Analysis

Author: Poetry of Margaret Atwood Type: Poetry Views: 725

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My daughter plays on the floor

with plastic letters,

red, blue & hard yellow,

learning how to spell,


how to make spells.*I wonder how many women

denied themselves daughters,

closed themselves in rooms,

drew the curtains

so they could mainline words.*A child is not a poem,

a poem is not a child.

There is no either / or.

However.*I return to the story

of the woman caught in the war

& in labour, her thighs tied

together by the enemy

so she could not give birth.Ancestress: the burning witch,

her mouth covered by leather

to strangle words.A word after a word

after a word is power.*At the point where language falls away

from the hot bones, at the point

where the rock breaks open and darkness

flows out of it like blood, at

the melting point of granite

when the bones know

they are hollow & the word

splits & doubles & speaks

the truth & the body

itself becomes a mouth.This is a metaphor.*How do you learn to spell?

Blood, sky & the sun,

your own name first,

your first naming, your first name,

your first word.


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