Margaret Atwood

(18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario)

Margaret Atwood Quotes

  • ''Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "A Question Of Metamorphosis," no. 41, Malahat Review (1977).
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  • ''If a stranger taps you on the ass and says, "How's the little lady today!" you will probably cringe. But if he's an American, he's only being friendly.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "A Question Of Metamorphosis," no. 41, Malahat Review (1977). Interview.
  • ''I feel that the task of criticizing my poetry is best left to others (i.e. critics) and would much rather have it take place after I am dead. If at all.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian poet and novelist. As quoted in Contemporary Poets, 3rd ed., by James Vinson (1980).
  • ''Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that is wrong. They know less, that's why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. Dancing Girls, "Lives of the Poets," (1977).
  • ''The beginning of Canadian cultural nationalism was not "Am I really that oppressed?" but "Am I really that boring?"''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "Dancing On the Edge of the Precipice," Ontario Review (Fall-Winter 1978). Interview with Joyce Carol Oates.
  • ''We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. The Handmaid's Tale, ch. 1 (1986).
  • ''I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Dancing Girls (1977). The narrator, in "Hair Jewelry," Ms. (New York, 1976).

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Best Poem of Margaret Atwood

A Sad Child

You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic. It's the age. It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill,
or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll
you need to sleep.

Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings. Better than that,
buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.

Forget what?
Your sadness, your shadow,
whatever it was that was done to you
the day of the lawn party
when you came inside flushed with the sun,
your mouth sulky with sugar,
in your new dress with the ribbon
and the ice-cream ...

Read the full of A Sad Child

More And More

More and more frequently the edges
of me dissolve and I become
a wish to assimilate the world, including
you, if possible through the skin
like a cool plant's tricks with oxygen
and live by a harmless green burning.

I would not consume
you or ever

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