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Visitors' Comments about:

This Is A Photograph Of Me

Margaret Atwood

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Added by: Janelle
wel first of all, none of you are right. i basically think that the poem is about someone dying. yes. in a lake. drowning. like. calm down all you scary people. its just a poem
Added by: Anastasia
THANK YOU Janelle!! I thought I was the only one here that thought it was just about some dead lady in a lake.. this poem kinda reminds me of that movie what lies beneath
p.s. you people poeple do seem like you're taking this a little too far. it's just a poem, get over it.
Added by: Guy
I don't believe any poet should adopt an 'essential' vision of any subject. People are essentially non-essential. The beauty of this poem is that it imagines a voice, in an image, but without the traditional lines of definition that suggests the appereance of a person. At once the whole scene is blurry. In other words, there are no descriptions of a body, but rather, the premise that if you look hard enough, you can find him/her. Perhaps asking us to imagine life, in two non-traditional ways: a person who is dead but still conscious; and, a person that doesn't have a body but exists. I think therefore I am, maybe?
Added by: Victoria
Janelle, I wouldn't say anyone was either right or wrong. There's no right or wrong in poetry, a poem is supposed to make you feel something, and whatever you feel - is right.
Added by: mona lisa
as a prominent feminist writer, atwood often writes in the subject of women being cast off and seen as secondary when compared to men. i distinctly noticed that in this poem she did just that. the poem is entitled, "this is a photograph of me", thus stating that it is about atwood (a female). the beginning of the poem describes the photo and what it looks like as a concrete object. however, as the poem continues, atwood describes the inner meaning of the photo, and what really happend to her that day. what i noticed is that the second part of this poem, while describing atwood, is contained in brackets. the only part of the poem that includes words like 'i' and 'me' has been cast of and hidden within 2 powerful brackets, perhaps symbolizing the harshness of male power and society's unlawful ways of judging the female's abilities. the message she is trying to send is that women are so often tossed aside and unnoticed for their true power and beauty.
Added by: Steph
I kind of come down on the Janelle side of poetic interpretation re: the Atwood poem. I think it is just a creepy, morbid-ass poem.
Added by: Iron Chef
I find that this poem is about ecuminism, which was meant to unite the lake and the photo.

Metaphorically speaking, I find the use of the word "Photograph" to symbolize all of existence.
Added by: Sal
i had to analyze this poem for my Poetry midterm last night... essentially i thought there were 2 aspects to the poem. the first was in the first 3 stanzas, which were written in the way someone would view a photograph upon seeing it for the first time. the first stanza is very dismissive, the viewer fails to see the photograph properly (grey lines, blurred etc).. there are a lot of directional phrases as well, such as "left hand corner" and "in the background" in these stanzas.. the viewer fails to see the centre, or the main idea here.. thats what the last 4 stanzas deal with. the fact that its in parenthesis, i agree, gives it a quality similiar to an afterthought. also, our "eyes" along with the viewer's finally move to the centre (where the lake is now situated)...

completely morbid poem. never liked Atwood, lol
Added by: stephanie
I am analyzing this poem for a test tomorrow. I believe "photograph of me" could mean rebirth,because the photo was taken some time ago(she was young) the house being margret, simple, on top of a "gentle slope" showing some struggle or challenges to find who she is now. The water symbolizes emotions, maybe how she used to feel about her identity, which she has now left behind dead in the water...
the tree branch could be viewed as growth, to rise out of the past "emerging"
Added by: SarahP
I agree that we should see this poem as a person expressing their views, thats what poems are about. But i think we should be careful of trying to find meaning in everything but the "and's". It is possible to make something out of nothing when analysing poetry.
Saying that, i do agree with the idea of atwood's underlying subject being about female repression etc etc/

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