The Moment Poem by Margaret Atwood

The Moment

Rating: 4.1


The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Erica Lucero 24 February 2005

This is a beautiful poem about nature. The main theme of this poem is natures ownership. The first stanza talks about natures beauty and that humans own all of it. The second stanza changes all of this. Margaret Atwood uses personification and imagery to convey natures rejection to the fact that humans own nature. In the third stanza nature restates that humans indeed do not own nature and that humans belong to nature. Instead of the other way around. Natures ownership is a good question. I agree that nature owns us because why else must we return to the ground when we die?

39 13 Reply
Brian Dorn 28 July 2006

Man must learn to simply appreciate nature for what it is, we can not own it or control it... rather, it controls us. A brilliant perspective.

30 15 Reply
Roobhan 02 March 2022

Shush you flipping twit dumb donkey

1 0 Reply
Bonnie Weinstein 08 July 2022

Written by the women who wrote about the United States being taken over by Christian fascists and enslaving all women! Prescient!

0 0 Reply
Kareem Riad 08 November 2021

Does anyone know if this poem is part of a collection/book published by Atwood or is it a standalone piece? If its part of a collection/book I would greatly appreciate the name of it : )

0 0 Reply
Marilyn Gajdostik 22 November 2021

It is from the book of poetry called Morning in the Burned House

1 1 Reply
mcebisi 18 October 2021

how many sentances in this poem tht are compound and that are simple

3 3 Reply
SNEH 19 October 2021

Dude ????????, looking for your exam answers

1 0 Reply
M Asim Nehal 19 March 2021

Yes, death wipes everything.

0 0 Reply
Mohamed 06 July 2020

What is the name of the author of this web page? thx

1 3 Reply
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