Review: The Tent

The Tent by Margaret Atwood


In college, just a little bit before the registrar started reminding me that I couldn’t just take English literature and economics classes at a liberal arts college, I took an introduction to creative writing course. The essay and the short story units went swimmingly, but I was stumped when it came to poetry. I have difficulty differentiating the impulse to write poetry from the impulse to write prose, so I decided to write a poem expressing a highly symbolic image that had been floating around my head for a decade or so to see if that was the poetic impulse. A blue, masked beast tells a tall girl that he will eat her one day; she replies that he eats everyone eventually. The beast represents time, perhaps eternity, and the girl represents humanity in general. It’s about accepting mortality on a personal and a cosmic scale.

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