Michael Ondaatje


Bearhug - Poem by Michael Ondaatje

Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son's room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?


Comments about Bearhug by Michael Ondaatje

  • (2/10/2010 11:52:00 AM)


    A touching poem, one that is very endearing when you think of how a father's parental emotions is not a theme too common...also the fact that Griffin being the one to call his father shows how the son's filial attachement is a calling to paternal kindlings in the poet.It is the son who makes this voice of the poem come into being.

    My BA dissertation was a study of Michael Ondaatje's lyricism in novels.The study looked at 'Coming Through Slaughter' and 'The English Patient'. It was titled 'Stroking Lyrical Bodies': A textual exploration foe elements of lyricism in the novels Coming Through Slaughter and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

    'Divisadero' was also an absolute treat, Ondaatje reaches a new angle of lyrical expression and crafts a marvelous emotional landscape, and its also a good recovery from 'Anil's Ghost.'

    -Dilshan Boange
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    5 person liked.
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  • (4/20/2005 8:45:00 PM)


    Such a sweet poem, M (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: animal, son, kiss, dark, death



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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