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Enough of These Discouragements by Margaret Atwood

magatAcclaimed activist, author, poet, essayist, novelist, and literary critic Margaret Atwood is one of the most highly honored Canadian women in history. Her work as not only a writer but also founder of the nonprofit literary organization the Writers’ Trust of Canada has provided tremendous support to modern authors and the Canadian writing community. Born with an innate interest in all things related to writing, much of her work is based upon fairy tales, myths, social science, relationships, speculative fiction, and science fiction. Considered a feminist and advocate against cruelty in any form (particularly against women and animals), much of her work supports left wing politics and and (what some may perceive as) oppression. Never one to turn her back on the disadvantaged, her efforts to raise awareness with over forty books, essays, and other works have earned her several awards, tremendous critical reception, and great praise among those with similar beliefs.

Enough of these discouragements
you said. Enough gnawed skulls.
Why all these red wet tickets
to the pain theatricals?
Why these boxfuls of ruin?
Whole big-block warehouses full.
Why can’t you tell about flowers?

But I did tell, I answer.
Petal by petal, snowdrop and rose
unfolding in season, I told them all -
the leaf, the stem, the intricate bloom –
I praised each one in its turn.
I told about sunsets, as well,
and silvery dawns, and noons.
I told about young men
playing their flutes beside pools
and young girls dancing.
I raised up fountains, golden pears:
such gentle miracles.

You didn’t want them
these pastel flavours.
You were bored by them.

You wanted the hard news,
the blows of hammers,
bodies slammed through the air.
You wanted weaponry,
the glare of sun on metal,
the cities toppled, the dust ascending,
the leaden thud of judgment.
You wanted fire.

Despite my singed feathers
and this tattered scroll I haul around,
I’m not an angel.
I’m only a shadow,
the shadow of your desires.
I’m only a granter of wishes.
Now you have yours.”