This Is A Photograph Of Me Poem by Margaret Atwood

This Is A Photograph Of Me

Rating: 4.0

It was taken some time ago
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you can see something in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or how small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion.

but if you look long enough
you will see me.)

- Cheryl - 04 June 2004

In her regular line of feminist writing, Atwood is once again declaring the low importance placed by society on females. The speaker feels suppressed, pushed beneath the surface, not really seen but always there. Never noticed yet always present is the way Atwood describes women’s role in a prominently male society.

29 50 Reply
Joe Biden 07 June 2022

Cheryl, I'm going to be frank. Nobody asked for your opinion. Please considering the following:

2 3
Joe Biden 07 June 2022

Hey Cheryl Joe here. My old brain didn't finish the comment, but id like to inform you that I still don't remember asking. Alright Cheryl I need to gamer up and chug jug with the boys, Joe out!

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Ardath Kirchner 14 May 2009

I love Atwood's poetry and prose work. While her original intent in writing 'This Is a Photograph of Me' was perhaps (I haven't read her comments or any other exegesis) to express the suppression and negation of women, reading it just now reminded me that she speaks for everyone—anyone, regardless of gender or age, who has felt negation, who has felt erased by the world, can respond on a gut level to this poem.

29 38 Reply
Patrick Wilson 11 November 2015

Every Atwood poem has a line or several that just get under my skin in a good way; here it's 'and, to the right, halfway up/what ought to be a gentle/slope, '. Another example would be from 'Younger Sister Going Swimming' with ' no one comes by in a motorboat' I love how lines such as these play with my mind and my reality.

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Barack Obama 08 June 2022

This poem made my big black throbbing PP quite hard. I cant wait to go to town on Margaret. I've already got the zip ties and rope, see you in my basement (;

1 1 Reply
Joe Biden 07 June 2022

Margaret Lookin kinda cute tho. Id tap that.On god blicky blicky we in da projects foo yeah cuh

1 0 Reply
Joe Biden 07 June 2022

This poem is wrinkly cheeks, just like mine LMAO HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Sylvia Frances Chan 11 April 2021

3) when it is in decomposition, it only comes up again. BUT the poem reads indeed hauntinglt. A great success for the haunting intentio. This poem reminds me of the movie Blow-Up.

0 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 11 April 2021

2) on the surface of the water, it sinks to the bottom and stays there and will never come above again.

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Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Ottawa, Ontario
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