Habitation Poem by Margaret Atwood

Habitation

Rating: 3.6


Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:


the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

the edge of the receding glacier

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
John Richter 02 February 2015

I am a complete believer! How wonderful and imaginative this poem is. Love is not instant, or expressed by some fanciful feelings that Mother Nature fills us with in her goal to have us procreate. Love is something that comes long after that - something that must be forged by pain and sacrifice - compromise and acceptance. Learning to make fire is to learn to knock the coldness from it. I am in complete agreement with Margaret.

11 3 Reply
Kim Barney 02 February 2015

And, as usual, I agree with you, John Richter, but to me, the learning to make fire reference signifies that their relationship is just at the beginning stages.

6 2 Reply
Dana Besarani 10 November 2019

deep imagination... in that poem love start from beginner and take us to the the different direction of past and future....

1 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 19 April 2020

the edge of the forest, the edge of the desert the unpainted stairs at the back where we squat outside, eating popcorn. a very good poem. tony

0 0 Reply
Kenneth Maswabi 12 March 2021

The truth is painful but it's the truth. Thank you.

0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 11 April 2021

Well expressed thoughts and feelings, an insightful bit of verse.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 11 April 2021

Congratulations with the great honour of being chosen as The Modern Poem Of The Day. I have read your poems and novels, all scintillating masterpieces. In concised form you can tell worthy poems, most valuable for us as students to read and learn from your poems.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 11 April 2021

A short but complete poem about Marriage is thus where painfully and with wonder at having survived even this far we are learning to make fire. So the great Poetess has formulated like this. True amazing!

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Varsha M 11 April 2021

Everything thst made me to habitat. Wonderful.

0 0 Reply
Varsha M 11 April 2021

So well penned. Nothing you missed. Everything is important. Yes indeed marriage is not the house but all others thing that made me to house

0 0 Reply
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