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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
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- 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.

27 44 Reply
G. E. W. 22 April 2010

For a contemporary response to 'This is a photograph of me', check out: http: //egobeagle.blogspot.com/2010/04/this-is-photograph-of-me.html

18 48 Reply
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.

27 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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Adrian Flett 16 February 2019

'the effect of water on light is a distortion' The whole poem is a distortion and an illusion turned to an irony view of the poet's image. Is

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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.

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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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Sylvia Frances Chan 11 April 2021

.............but if you look long enough eventually you will see me.The secret of looking at something empty long enough, our imaginations start working instantly and we will get to 'see' that dead body. BUT a dead body does not remain

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Practicing Poetess 17 February 2019

Ew-w-w, creepy poem! How she was able to write it after drowning, I find difficult to grasp. But I suppose when it comes to poetry, anything is possible! A macabre selection for Poem of the Day!

2 1 Reply
Khairul Ahsan 16 February 2019

'he effect of water on light is a distortion. but if you look long enough eventually you will see me' - love the way the poetess draws the end to the poem. Congratulations on the poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

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