In today’s lesson we read three Margaret Atwood poems: ‘Spelling’; ‘A Woman’s Issue’; and ‘Christmas Carols’.
Our teacher asked each group to identify the characteristics of Atwood’s poetry. Through this not only did we identify many different ideas, but I also became much more equated with the rest of my group.
In all three poems we identified that Atwood was portraying a very feminist message. The overall theme in each poem is rape in war and Atwood uses strong emotive language to portray this.
Atwood has been very particular with the titles she has given each of these poems and they are used very well. The title ‘A Woman’s Issue’ is a homophone as it addresses the menstrual cycle, as well as this Atwood also uses the word ‘issue’ to address that there is a problem present. This straight away makes the reader assume that the female body is being abused. We see throughout the poem that females are treated very gruesomely.
We see the women being referred to as ‘Exhibit A’, ‘Exhibit B’, and ‘Exhibit C’. This gives us the impression women are viewed as objects rather than people.
Another very clever title is ‘Christmas Carols’. The definition of ‘Christmas Carols’ is ‘joyful religious song celebrating the birth of Christ‘. This has contrast straight away with the first line. ‘Children do not always mean hope. To some they mean despair.‘
Atwood uses very strong emotional language which creates very graphic, ghastly images in this poem to show us how cruel women were treated. To do this Atwood uses words like ‘broken’, ‘raped’, and ‘extracted’.
I think Margaret Atwood makes the reader experience the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of the victims of the disturbing events to which she writes about in her poems. We see very little emotion within these poems; although, Atwood herself draws forth the emotions from the reader. Which is a very powerful technique to convey the ideas within her poetry.
I am so sorry if this is ‘all over the place’. I’m a little rusty at the moment guys.
Thank you for reading my post,