Cover Image: Dearly


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This was the first book of poetry by Margaret Atwood I've read. I will definitely read more. I've been a big fan of her novels for years.  The style that I enjoy in her novels is mirrored in her poetry.  As a writer, she's ultimate wordsmith, conveying intense emotion in beautiful prose combined with a grittiness that, at first, takes you off guard ,but later, makes perfect sense. Dearly is a collection of poems centered around death, dying and grieving. These things are part of the fabric of our lives but are often glossed over without fully realizing the beauty and humanity in them.  Ms. Atwood pulls no punches.
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Dearly by Margaret Atwood


137 Pages
Publisher: Ecco
Release Date: November 10, 2020

Nonfiction, Poetry

This was the first book of poetry I have read in a long time. I loved these poems. They are so real and emotional. I read the whole book in a day since it is a short book, but the poems will stay with me for a long time. If you enjoy moving poetry, you should give this book a try.
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Margaret Atwood is a treasure. I wish I could see the world through her eyes for just a day. But failing that, there's her poetry.

Like all poetry collections, there are some that appeal to you right away, while others take a while to digest. Some feel a bit uncomfortable, but feeling uncomfortable is still *feeling*. I hope we get more from Atwood soon.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review a temporary digital ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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April is Poetry Month and I would be remiss if I let the month end without reading and sharing some new (to me) poetry!

I recently saw this book on Netgalley and was excited to snatch it up. I have only read Atwood's novels in the past. I was surprised when I googled Margaret Atwood that her "title" on Wikipedia was Canadian Poet. After so much acclaim over so many of her books in my lifetime I had assumed she would be known as a Canadian Novelist or the queen of dystopians, at a minimum. It made me feel a bit silly that she maybe became famous first for her poetry and I was only just now reading her poetry.

For this book, I ended up reading it as an audio book. Which was read by the author. I have found poetry audio books to be a really special experience and I especially loved that the author read this with the emotion and inflection she intended.

This was a really interesting book of poetry and I do recommend it. ★★★★☆
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A few really stunning lines that make the whole collection worth reading, if you’re a quick reader, but those are in maybe 1/3rd or 1/2 of the poems. Otherwise it’s a string of simple pop feminism poems that move along with the same sort of lightly wry voice. Probably good for people who like Le Guin’s poetry a lot (I’d say Le Guin is more talented, but both are much better fiction writers than poets) or who like very snappy lines and obvious metaphors. The metaphors are supposed to be obvious, I think. Very skimmable and rewarding enough to a skim. I highlighted maybe a dozen lines/stanzas across the whole thing, each of which was a head and shoulder above the rest of the poem. Probably a similar amount of stanzas which tried the same almost epigrammatic move but ended up heavy-handed.
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I hadn't read any of Margaret Atwood's poetry before--I'm embarrassed to say I didn't realize she wrote poetry. These poems are by turns dark, angry, and beautiful. They are mostly stunning. Atwood uses so many concrete, hard-hitting words, and her imagery is so vivid...sometimes her poems are a punch in the gut, honestly. I read a few per day, just savoring her language. I'll come back to this, and now I realize I need to go read her earlier collections, too.

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I read this poetry collection out of sheer love of Atwood’s writing and having read all her fiction, but have to admit going in that I’m not a big reader if poetry. Until now. Atwood’s brilliantly chiseled language and deeply personal reflections draw you into her imaginative reflections. She moves from somber thoughts about welcoming death to passionate embrace of life’s best moments. She nimbly moves from feminism to vampires, from reflections of an Earth that no longer includes you in death to the wonders of newly emergent September mushrooms and October pumpkin carving , Atwood gets you to read slowly, deeply inhaling her language much as you would the delicious scent of apple pie straight out of the oven.  Dazzling!
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Great for fans of poetry, Atwood's fiction, mythology, and women's stories in general. These accessible poems touch on everything from aging to ancient fears with Atwood's incisive phrasing and delicate attention to detail.
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I loved this book. The poems are melancholy at times, and moving -- I definitely had to take breaks, because their musings on the passing of life and time made me sad at points. But at the same time, they are filled with truths, written in intersting twists of words, and I enjoyed them. In contrast to a lot of the "internet poetry" out there these days, Atwood is definitely a master of her craft.
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This book was just not for me. I loved The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments so I wanted to give this a try. I just could not get into these poems though. Maybe it wasn't these poems but poetry in general that isn't my genre?
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Dearly is a lovely collection of poems. It is a book any Margaret Atwood or poetry lover will want to add permanently to your collection of books.
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Margaret Atwood’s newest poetry collection, Dearly, is as powerfully reflective it is deeply discomforting...and completely worth reading.  

Her poems are written in simple free verse that reads easily—like someone’s inner thoughts—and lends a gentle pace to stanzas.  Covering topics ranging from bodies and aging to nature and the environmental harm of today’s plastic consumption, Atwood is endlessly poignant without feeling inaccessible.  

Perhaps it’s the grotesque nature of some of her metaphors that ground her work so efficiently in reality.  Dearly is a stunning read for the end of the year.
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Dearly by Margaret Atwood is a phenomenal treasure trove of poetry. Dearly is twice the length of the average collection, and really stands out for what it is. Featuring themes of women's rights, memory, bereavement, and environmental issues it brings all the weight one has grown to expect from any of Atwood's writing.

I would recommend this to you all, whether a typical poetry reader or not. While the poems do have layers if you're wanting to dive into them they can also serve as cut and dry messages, making it perfect for those new poetry readers out there. 

Atwood never disappoints.
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I am not a big poetry reader, but was excited to get a review copy of Dearly. I enjoyed savoring this collection, reading just a few poems at a time and honestly wish I'd had a physical book to flip through and really experience each poem slowly. Some of my favorites were: Late Poems, Salt, The Tin Woodwoman Gets a Massage, Plasticene Suite 1, and Dearly. I'll be revisiting those for sure.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC through Net Gallery in exchange for an honest review.
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Oh Children

Oh children, will you grow up in a world without birds? 
Will there be crickets, where you are? 
Will there be asters? 
Clams, at a minimum. 
Maybe not clams. 

We know there will be waves. 
Not much life needed for those. 
A breeze, a storm, a cyclone. 
Ripples, as well. Stones. 
Stones are consoling. 

There will be sunsets, as long as there is dust. 
There will be dust. 

Oh children, will you grow up in a world without songs? 
Without pines, without mosses? 

Will you spend your life in a cave, 
a sealed cave with an oxygen line, 
until there’s a power failure? 
Will your eyes blank out like the white eyes
of sunless fish? 
In there, what will you wish for? 

Oh children, will you grow up in a world without ice? 
Without mice, without lichens? 

Oh children, will you grow up? 

In Dearly, Margaret Atwood provides us with a collection of poems that are both new and previously published. That are wide-ranging and personal. That explore themes of grief, loss, sorrow, and at times are harrowing and full of despair. And then there were others that conveyed hope and our current realities.  One thing I will say is that the selection of poems for this collection, the first in over a decade, were thoughtfully chosen and crafted. A sign of our times. In the poem above, “Oh Children”, Atwood asks the question on the minds of many, what will happen to our children? Is there a future for them? 

I was provided a digital ARC by NetGalley and Ecco in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75/5 stars !
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Margaret Atwood's latest release is a beautifully penned poetry collection, and I honestly didn't expect anything less. While some of the pieces have been published elsewhere (despite the second half of the title), the 57 poems cover a wide range of topics, from a large section devoted to the reality of climate change and speculative fiction about our impending doom, to aging/death, and even one poem devoted entirely to slug sex. Yes, really.
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This book like much of Atwood's work is a little disquieting, yet beautiful and precise. Many poems focus is on death which within a year marked by death or the threat of it is timely. But her poems of the wildness of nature definitely harkens back to her childhood yet can speak to even the most dedicated city dweller. The poems require interpretation sometimes but are well worth it.
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I am not a poetry person, but I was willing to give this a try. I enjoyed some of the poems but to me, most of them felt like notes for a larger piece of writing that were begging to be expanded into a story. Some of the twists and turns were provocative, but others just puzzled me. I think Dearly was my favorite.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
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I thought this was very okay. I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but I enjoy Atwood's writing so I thought I'd give this a try. Compared to other poetry I've read, this did not stand out very much.
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Great example of why I try to read out of my comfort zone (and encourage others to do so). I'm not a huge poetry person and I didn't really enjoy the writing style of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, but I really enjoyed this! Enough that I'd consider purchasing a copy. As with any collection/anthology, some parts were better than others, but overall I enjoyed the themes/descriptive language.
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