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Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995

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An omnibus edition of Margaret Atwood's poetry 1965 - 1995 including the latest collection Morning in the Burned House An omnibus edition of Margaret Atwood's poetry 1965 - 1995 including the latest collection Morning in the Burned House


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An omnibus edition of Margaret Atwood's poetry 1965 - 1995 including the latest collection Morning in the Burned House An omnibus edition of Margaret Atwood's poetry 1965 - 1995 including the latest collection Morning in the Burned House

30 review for Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995

  1. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I feel like if this was a more curated collection then it would have been a four star read no question but for as it is, it's a three star read. It's a three star read with some blistering five star poems included. Especially the poems that focus on women and the general lack of respect they are given in the world. The poems about the Canadian wilderness are great but there's just so many of them and they end up feeling a bit same same-y. But that might also be because of my lack of experience w I feel like if this was a more curated collection then it would have been a four star read no question but for as it is, it's a three star read. It's a three star read with some blistering five star poems included. Especially the poems that focus on women and the general lack of respect they are given in the world. The poems about the Canadian wilderness are great but there's just so many of them and they end up feeling a bit same same-y. But that might also be because of my lack of experience with the Canadian wilderness. Who knows? last year I abstained this year I devour without guilt which is also an art I'll probably revisit this collection at some point in the future. I feel like some of these pieces might lend themselves more to me as I age. I guess that's a sign of good poetry. You might not recognise it's relevancy to your current self but your future self might. I don't know. That sounds like a pretentious idea. But there is a longevity in Margaret Atwood's words.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meem

    What has Margaret Atwood been SMOKING? D:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheida

    Isn't there enough of the past Without making more? Eating Fire is an interesting poetry collection and probably one of my most enjoyable experiences both with poetry and with Atwood's writing. It's quite an eye-opening experience to see a collection of her poetry spanning from 1965 to 1995 and to see just how much her style and her priorities change in those three decades. A book that begins with poems filled with fire and passion and a dark and sinister view at life slowly turn into poems ab Isn't there enough of the past Without making more? Eating Fire is an interesting poetry collection and probably one of my most enjoyable experiences both with poetry and with Atwood's writing. It's quite an eye-opening experience to see a collection of her poetry spanning from 1965 to 1995 and to see just how much her style and her priorities change in those three decades. A book that begins with poems filled with fire and passion and a dark and sinister view at life slowly turn into poems about nostalgia, grief, and death and I found this gradual growth from poetry about a whole life ahead of you and poetry about a life well-lived to be absolutely fascinating. Of course, in an almost 400 page book spanning 30 years of poems, I'm not going to love (nor understand) everything that is there and there were times were I just didn't get it (why is there no attempt at rhyming in most Western poetry? I am absolutely baffled tbh). But overall, there were some truly touching moments and one poem in particular called Five Poems for My Grandmother honestly knocked the breath out of my lungs, here's the ending to that particular poem (it's a long-ish one) to end this review with: You will flicker in these words and in the words of others for a while and then go out. Even if I send them, you will never get these letters. Even if I see you again, I will never see you again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Margaret Atwood is one of those authors whom many seem to love and venerate as a grande dame of Canadian literature, but I have never genuflected at her shrine. I must admit though, that there is something about her poetry that is very powerful, albeit disturbing. It is full of animals that slink, bodies that are mutilated or raped, attacked by suffering, old age, death and decay. Natural forces like sun, wind, water and fire threaten and invade. People and memories fade but refuse to disappear. Margaret Atwood is one of those authors whom many seem to love and venerate as a grande dame of Canadian literature, but I have never genuflected at her shrine. I must admit though, that there is something about her poetry that is very powerful, albeit disturbing. It is full of animals that slink, bodies that are mutilated or raped, attacked by suffering, old age, death and decay. Natural forces like sun, wind, water and fire threaten and invade. People and memories fade but refuse to disappear. The poems are tinged with violence, protest, sex, regret, nostalgia, wisdom, cynicism. Atwood's voice is not happy or sweet, but it is articulate and insistent. It demands to be heard and will not submit to being silenced.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cherie Palmer

    Love Atwood! This was so disappointing!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I was given this book many years ago, already well thumbed, long before I discovered the delights of Atwood's novels. Atwood quickly became one of my favorite authors and Eating Fire a favorite in my poetry collection. This collection is a definite must read. "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary". I was given this book many years ago, already well thumbed, long before I discovered the delights of Atwood's novels. Atwood quickly became one of my favorite authors and Eating Fire a favorite in my poetry collection. This collection is a definite must read. "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary".

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    for my shadowy husband, hears malice in the tree's whispers I need wolf's eyes to see the truth I refuse to look in a mirror I judge you as the trees do by dying If I love you is that a fact or a weapon To know the future there must be a death. Hand me the axe. for my shadowy husband, hears malice in the tree's whispers I need wolf's eyes to see the truth I refuse to look in a mirror I judge you as the trees do by dying If I love you is that a fact or a weapon To know the future there must be a death. Hand me the axe.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liisabet

    "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary." 5+. So raw, emotional, and beautiful. "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary." 5+. So raw, emotional, and beautiful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robinw76

    I'm a fan of Atwood's fiction and had previously read a handful of her poetry, so thought I would enjoy this large chunk of work. Sadly, it was hard going. The early work from the 60's and 70's just left me flat. Poetry can be difficult, but it doesn't need to be, and sometimes I just feel it's purposely written that way. There were many examples of that here. That said, lots of classic Atwood tropes are present, the environment, women, love, ageing, relationships, with added delicious dollops of I'm a fan of Atwood's fiction and had previously read a handful of her poetry, so thought I would enjoy this large chunk of work. Sadly, it was hard going. The early work from the 60's and 70's just left me flat. Poetry can be difficult, but it doesn't need to be, and sometimes I just feel it's purposely written that way. There were many examples of that here. That said, lots of classic Atwood tropes are present, the environment, women, love, ageing, relationships, with added delicious dollops of death and decay. I definitely enjoyed the later work more, perhaps this showed her development as a writer. Would I return to her as a poet? Possibly not. There are a handful of pieces I'll read again but for the most part, I'd rather spend my time rereading one of her dystopian fictions.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’m a huge fan of the author’s fiction. I didn’t realise she was a poet until I read Dearly last year which I loved so I’ve been on a mission to read more of her poetry. This is a door-stop of a volume bringing together poetry from several collections. I’ve read similar works by other poets and usually struggle to read so many poems brought together. I found the opposite with Eating Fire. I loved every poem I read. The poems are diverse in style and subjec https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’m a huge fan of the author’s fiction. I didn’t realise she was a poet until I read Dearly last year which I loved so I’ve been on a mission to read more of her poetry. This is a door-stop of a volume bringing together poetry from several collections. I’ve read similar works by other poets and usually struggle to read so many poems brought together. I found the opposite with Eating Fire. I loved every poem I read. The poems are diverse in style and subject matter and powerfully written. I devoured Eating Fire.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I started this forever ago and then dipped in and out of it and then devoured most of it in a huge gulp today. I’ll absolutely be revisiting many many many of these poems and I’m now desperate for individual collections. Atwood is a magician, her words are sharp and electric and glowing and fierce and haunting and precise and humourous and amazing. There are masterpieces of poems in here and not a single one I didn’t like, though some were more memorable than others. So glad I finally finished t I started this forever ago and then dipped in and out of it and then devoured most of it in a huge gulp today. I’ll absolutely be revisiting many many many of these poems and I’m now desperate for individual collections. Atwood is a magician, her words are sharp and electric and glowing and fierce and haunting and precise and humourous and amazing. There are masterpieces of poems in here and not a single one I didn’t like, though some were more memorable than others. So glad I finally finished this, if only so I can now revisit it all over again. One of my favourite poets.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina Helregel

    I guess I just don’t like poetry, it’s been confirmed. I liked some of these (the one about the witch who was hanged but didn’t die was beautiful) but I prefer Atwood’s novels (which I live, see Robber Bride, Edible Woman, and ofc Handmaids Tale). Overall I just have a hard time reading a book of poetry consistently. There are maybe 10 or so I would turn back to but 368 pages of just poetry is a lot to read and that was my mistake, for not interspersing it with other books and treating this like I guess I just don’t like poetry, it’s been confirmed. I liked some of these (the one about the witch who was hanged but didn’t die was beautiful) but I prefer Atwood’s novels (which I live, see Robber Bride, Edible Woman, and ofc Handmaids Tale). Overall I just have a hard time reading a book of poetry consistently. There are maybe 10 or so I would turn back to but 368 pages of just poetry is a lot to read and that was my mistake, for not interspersing it with other books and treating this like a novel, even though I know how I am with poetry. Sigh.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ❀ iro ❀

    3.5* While I'll be the first to talk about how incredibly talented Margaret Atwood is, and how much I admire her forging of language, I must admit I didn't connect with much of her poetry in this collection. Some poems were too abstract for my taste, some others too naturalistic. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, but not a favorite. My absolute favorite poems came from the Power Politics (which I have already read and loved), and Morning in the Burned House collections. 3.5* While I'll be the first to talk about how incredibly talented Margaret Atwood is, and how much I admire her forging of language, I must admit I didn't connect with much of her poetry in this collection. Some poems were too abstract for my taste, some others too naturalistic. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, but not a favorite. My absolute favorite poems came from the Power Politics (which I have already read and loved), and Morning in the Burned House collections.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    Atwood isn't necessarily my favorite writer, but I've enjoyed her for decades and think she's one of this era's more talented, multi-faceted writers in the world. If only every writer could aspire to her craftsmanship, gifts and success... As with most anything by her, definitely recommended! Atwood isn't necessarily my favorite writer, but I've enjoyed her for decades and think she's one of this era's more talented, multi-faceted writers in the world. If only every writer could aspire to her craftsmanship, gifts and success... As with most anything by her, definitely recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sami Perks

    Prompt: A book with a two-word title.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Guoda

    When it hits, it hits.

  17. 4 out of 5

    MadameSoundso

    For me Atwood was love at first sight and this collection of poems is fabulous.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Palmer

    Another reviewer wrote for this compilation “what was Margaret Atwood smoking?!” I couldn’t agree more. The first 1/2 (at least) of this book, her earlier writings, was hard for me to get through. There are odd bits and pieces I liked or admired but they were few and far between and really jumbled in with a lot of indecipherable (to me) mess. The later sections made more sense to me. This is not a poetry book you can pick up and start reading anywhere, as some of the selections included are port Another reviewer wrote for this compilation “what was Margaret Atwood smoking?!” I couldn’t agree more. The first 1/2 (at least) of this book, her earlier writings, was hard for me to get through. There are odd bits and pieces I liked or admired but they were few and far between and really jumbled in with a lot of indecipherable (to me) mess. The later sections made more sense to me. This is not a poetry book you can pick up and start reading anywhere, as some of the selections included are portions of long stories (not short poems) so you’re pretty lost when dropped in the middle. I’d only recommend this for rabid Atwood fans who read every magazine article and novel she’s ever written and want to own every piece of her work (and who want to spend long hours deconstructing what the hell she might be trying to say). Based on liking the poems toward the end of the book most, I’d give her collection “morning in the burned house” a try instead. I only managed to finish this book because I wanted to find some gems to share with my mom.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    4.5☆ These poems are not sweet. They are not nice. They are venomous, and sarcastic, and angry, and hungry. Definitely not the perfect poetry collection and there are some very valid criticisms against Margaret Atwood, but she really knows how to write poetry that hits me where it hurts.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Babble

    Margaret Atwood's poetry was inserted (like the cutting of a plant) beneath my skin many years ago. Her poems took root in fertile soil and flourished. Eating Fire, is actually three collections of poems; Poems 1965-1975, Poems 1976-1886 and Morning in the Burned House. I own all three independently, but this is the book, the collection, I drag around with me in my bag. These are the poems I read when I feel dry, when I am not sure what a poet's voice sounds like, or what a poem looks like. It als Margaret Atwood's poetry was inserted (like the cutting of a plant) beneath my skin many years ago. Her poems took root in fertile soil and flourished. Eating Fire, is actually three collections of poems; Poems 1965-1975, Poems 1976-1886 and Morning in the Burned House. I own all three independently, but this is the book, the collection, I drag around with me in my bag. These are the poems I read when I feel dry, when I am not sure what a poet's voice sounds like, or what a poem looks like. It also doesn't hurt that Atwood is a kinswoman, a Canadian. When I have felt adrift, her poems have been my roots. Consider the following excerpt. Notes Towards A Poem That Can Never Be Written i This is the place you would rather not know about, this is the place that will inhabit you, this is the place you cannot imagine, this is the place that will finally defeat you where the word why shrivels and empties itself. This is famine. There is no famine in this collection. There is much to love in this book, so I will limit myself to a couple of poems I love. I *LOVE* Half Hanged Mary, and all the snake poems, but especially Psalm to a Snake. Oh and the above Notes Towards A Poem That Can Never Be Written... hmmm ... and Power Politics ... and, and, and .... I am by no means an unbiased reviewer - more a passionate follower. If you haven't .... do.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    Okay, this is probably the first proper poetry book I've read & I quite enjoyed it. I'm still a girl who was in firm belief that poetry should rhyme, I still find it quite hard to grip poetry that doesn't but I really enjoyed this book, I really did. There were a few that stood out to me, that I really, really loved. What they were I can't remember as I forgot to note them down. I do, however, remember loving Red Shirt - and to be honest all of the poems from that 1978 era. I also really loved th Okay, this is probably the first proper poetry book I've read & I quite enjoyed it. I'm still a girl who was in firm belief that poetry should rhyme, I still find it quite hard to grip poetry that doesn't but I really enjoyed this book, I really did. There were a few that stood out to me, that I really, really loved. What they were I can't remember as I forgot to note them down. I do, however, remember loving Red Shirt - and to be honest all of the poems from that 1978 era. I also really loved the Snake Poems and Interlunar. I loved the Orpheus & Eurydice poems. I really liked the poetry/prose things she had going on. I found them really pleasant to break up the 'real' poetry, if you see what I mean? Overall it was a 3/5 - there were many I just couldn't connect with but it was on the whole pretty good ^_^

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    4.5 An expansive collection in every sense. Atwood knows the brown slush of Canadian spring and the bloody tangles that lie under the skin. She has looked at the heart, still beating, and brought forth words that encapsulate her world. Lovely.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Fowler

    How excellent it is to read several hundred pages of Atwood's incisive poetry in one book, moving decade by decade through the stages one can see in such a survey of the work. This book is a must get for fans of her poems. There is so much beauty here. How excellent it is to read several hundred pages of Atwood's incisive poetry in one book, moving decade by decade through the stages one can see in such a survey of the work. This book is a must get for fans of her poems. There is so much beauty here.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Wilson

    Margaret Attwood writes amazing poetry. I enjoy her poetry much more than I enjoy her novels. Every word in every single one of these poems counts and each poem is insightful.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christoph

    A stunning collection of (prose) poems on an impressive range of themes. At times devastating, sometimes life-affirming, always breathtaking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Farah Aziz

    I've read this book cover to cover countless times, more than any novel. Each page, words strung together beautifully, inspiring and enticing. Probably the best poetry collection in existence. I've read this book cover to cover countless times, more than any novel. Each page, words strung together beautifully, inspiring and enticing. Probably the best poetry collection in existence.

  27. 4 out of 5

    D.S.

    One of the best popular poets of the past 50 years (like there are so many) and along with Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney one of the few really necessary ones.

  28. 4 out of 5

    mis

    Very much enjoyed this collection-- I really only knew Atwood for her fiction before this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    A gift from my best friend - frank, raw, emotional and at times quite voguish poetry, but it never loses substance.

  30. 4 out of 5

    evelyn

    This is the best poetry collection I’ve ever read.

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