Margaret Atwood

(18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario)

The Moment

Poem by Margaret Atwood

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 about The Moment by Margaret Atwood

  • XXXtentancion (2/13/2020 10:33:00 AM)

    my uncle touched meAlready ReportedReply

    3 person liked.
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  • Qauvo (2/13/2020 10:31:00 AM)

    m,15, orgeon. Looking for a superb daddy XOXO, want a good illegial pounding. My uncle touched meAlready ReportedReply

    1 person liked.
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  • XXXtentancion (2/13/2020 10:29:00 AM)

    Yall nigs thought i was deadAlready ReportedReply

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  • xxxtentacion lover (2/13/2020 10:28:00 AM)

    X's raps are way betterAlready ReportedReply

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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (8/22/2019 5:30:00 AM)

    No, they whisper. You own nothing.
    You were a visitor, time after time.........../// beautiful poem penned(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Ravindra Kumar (2/2/2019 11:07:00 PM)

    The poet has well explained worth of the moment in his output.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Nina Moores (2/2/2019 4:41:00 AM)

    Shelley's 'Ozymandias' expresses a similar thought, that we, as a species, are transient and barely leave a mark when we are gone, dust to dust.But Earth abides.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (6/29/2018 10:02:00 PM)

    'We never belonged to you.
    You never found us.
    It was always the other way round' - the concluding lines of the poem are overwhelmingly convincing!(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (6/29/2018 8:13:00 AM)

    this good poem is the equivalent of a knock upside the head. it expresses the assertion of every native-american spirituality i'm aware of which is, in turn, reminiscent of the biblical assertion, the earth is the Lord's. -gk(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Pranab K ChakrabortyPranab K Chakraborty (6/29/2018 7:51:00 AM)

    You own nothing.
    You were a visitor, time after time
    climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming........................ flag it high. It's poetry which can show us the reality of real life. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Lungelo S MbuyaziLungelo S Mbuyazi (6/29/2018 6:39:00 AM)

    The birds take back their language.. great write(Report)Reply

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  • Jasbir ChatterjeeJasbir Chatterjee (6/29/2018 5:33:00 AM)

    How very true this is! Our scriptures also confirm that nothing belongs to us. We are all tenants and everything is just an illusion; now here, sometimes there...Lovely poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Adrian FlettAdrian Flett (6/29/2018 5:21:00 AM)

    It is, 'always the other way round' So well said.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (6/29/2018 2:56:00 AM)

    Stunning, absolutely stunning. I think many of the Native American tribes would understand this philosophy because it is their own intrinsic philosophy gained through living close to nature(Report)Reply

    Glen KappyGlen Kappy(6/29/2018 11:54:00 AM)

    Susan, I wrote my comment before I saw yours. You might find the similarities interesting. -GK

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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (6/29/2018 2:29:00 AM)

    A goid poem. As improbabilities we came. Live improbable lives. Fed and provisioned by nature we cannot ever own the Earth or what we need.++10(Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/29/2018 1:57:00 AM)

    Well crafted. Beautiful poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (6/29/2018 1:38:00 AM)

    Such a great poem by Margaret Atwood👍👍👍(Report)Reply

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  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (6/29/2018 1:02:00 AM)

    It was always the other way round.

    yeah everything and everyone on the same way and on the way of same rounding(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (5/4/2018 6:09:00 AM)

    No, they whisper. You own nothing.
    You were a visitor, time after time
    climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming..so true. nothing belongs to us. we come and go.. tony(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (5/4/2018 3:52:00 AM)

    We are a fuuny mob. Thinking we have arrived only to find we have left+++10(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Read all 30 comments »

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Read poems about / on: house, work, time, tree



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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