Atwood's poems reveal a raw sense of feminism and wit. She writes freely yet craftily addresses the issues she wishes to broadcast. I really love her cynicism and apparent indifference to appearances and norms. She's radical!
In the secular night, seems to be a cynnical poem addressing ones life. It is made apparent there is a sort of deterministic lifestyle, presented to humans 'you took..you say..you start..' almost makes the reader feel as though he has no choice or power over his own actions. Also, the reader feels as though hes all alone, yet since he really has no power over his own actions, his seclusion is inevitable. The poem is a story of life, from start to end and the continuity of life. It starts with the 'secular' which could mean 'from century to century', and ends with the century grinds on... implying an on going cycles of centuries. 'The sensed absence of God and the sensed presence, amount to much the same thing' this poem also addresses Gods role in life, once a person believes he has no power over his own actions, the existence of God is irrelevant. Overall the poem in the secular night, is about life, its assumed ownership over the person, and his inability to do anything about it.
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.