[Review] The Door by Margaret Atwood

3 Things About This Book
| Poetry Collection | Straightforward Verse | Generally About Life and Writing |

The Door by Margaret Atwood
Published: 2009 by Virago
Genre(s): Poetry
Book Depository

As someone who adores imagery, symbolism and writing that can be interpreted in various ways, The Door is sadly not entirely the one for me. 

This collection contains observations and reflections of life, and of writing. While it has strong imagery and clever symbolism, the poems here appear to be a little lacking in complexity. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right headspace when reading, but I find the poems too straightforward. Their intentions and meanings are clear, which is the opposite of what I prefer. However, this accessibility could be something others (like beginner poetry readers) would appreciate.

Many of the poems have a cynical tone, accompanied by a notable touch of pedagogue. This results in a ‘distance’ that feels possessive, and at times, closed off, unwelcoming and/or angry. The pedagogue quality also emphasizes on the stilted sound of verses, which can get jarring after a while. Nevertheless, this may simply be due to my way of reading the poems (as I’m oft reminded that poetry sounds different according to how it’s read). 

Overall, the poems of The Door are tied well by the themes but didn’t resonate much with me. The ones I did feel deeply when reading are:
– Sor Juana Works in the Garden
– Bear Lament
– Secrecy
– The Hurt Child
– You Heard the Man You Love



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