There are similarities
I notice: that the hills
which the eyes make flat as a wall, welded
together, open as I move
to let me through; become
endless as prairies; that the trees
grow spindly, have their roots
often in swamps; that this is a poor country;
that a cliff is not known
as rough except by hand, and is
therefore inaccessible. Mostly
that travel is not the easy going
from point to point, a dotted
line on a map, location
plotted on a square surface
but that I move surrounded by a tangle
of branches, a net of air and alternate
light and dark, at all times;
that there are no destinations
apart from this.
There are differences
of course: the lack of reliable charts;
more important, the distraction of small details:
your shoe among the brambles under the chair
where it shouldn’t be; lucent
white mushrooms and a paring knife
on the kitchen table; a sentence
crossing my path, sodden as a fallen log
I’m sure I passed yesterday
(have I been
walking in circles again?)
but mostly the danger:
many have been here, but only
some have returned safely.
A compass is useless; also
trying to take directions
from the movements of the sun,
which are erratic;
and words here are as pointless
as calling in a vacant wilderness.
Whatever I do I must
keep my head. I know
it is easier for me to lose my way
forever here, than in other landscapes

J Ann Crowder Kimiko Watson Delilah Parker Jennings CHER' JEAN Alex G Ahmad Muhammad El Jafari Esther Yasmin Groeneveld Alexandra Del Popolo Maria Do Céu Pires Costa Niqqi Gae Dove Maduo IE Compat Rahul Mohamad Singh Kelsi Doscher Matt Holt Leanne Li
Login to comment...
4 months

Its a great Transcendental poem. This poem reminds me the Sidargal Padals (poetry of Saints) in Tamil literature. Keeping and doing things in order can be occured by meditation. Its a door step poem for transcendental meditation.

Ahmad Muhammad
12 months

A great comparison that expresses what's going on inside each and all. Yeah, I also believe that the inner journey to one's own self is more dangerous than that of the physical one. The way, Atwood Ma'am composed it is amazing & awesome.

Mercedes Dembo
almost 2 years

A journey through our inner natural world, beautiful metaphor for fear.

about 2 years

visualization of a disturbed mind in an alien country....

Fran Claggett
about 2 years

How is it possible I have never read this poem before?

Y. J. Hall
Y. J. Hall
6 months

It's possible :)

Robert L. Martin
over 2 years

I have to keep things in order. If I don't, it disturbs me very much. I lose my patience trying to find things. If I'm too lazy to put them in order, I hate myself for it.

christian tanoa
over 2 years

absolutely beautifull


Other works by Margaret Atwood...