October 4, 2009
Morning in the Burned House
Margaret Atwood is a contemporary Canadian poet, story writer, and essayist whose Canadian background is present in her writings. “February” is a poem in which death is discussed and pondered. Despair, death, and destruction seem to be the theme of this poem. The poem opens with a single word in the first sentence: “Winter.” With this being the first thought in the poem it gives the delusion of cold but happy times for many people; such as warm fires, snow, hot cocoa, and ice hockey.
In the poem “February”, winter is described as depressing. The poet wants to get rid of death and she wants it to be spring. Atwood characterizes winter as having pewter mornings and as being the month of despair. Unlike winter, spring is happy and causes celebration.
Death seem to be the reoccurring theme in this poem. Not only is winter referred to as death, but the cat seeks out to find or not find death with the poet. The cat has yellow Houdini eyes, which makes a reference to magic. This could mean that the cat is able to sense the death magically. The cats way of telling whether or not the poet is dead is to jump onto the poet’s head. If the poet were dead, she wasn’t sure what the cat would do, but she was sure that the cat would figure something out. Death is referred to again in lines fourteen and fifteen. The poet says that all life is about is sex and territory. She also says that sex and territory are the things that will finish everyone off in the long run; meaning that they both end up cause everyone’s death. A reference is made a sterilizing the cats and then the poet remarks that is humans were wise or sensible, then humans would too. The poet then states that sharks eat their young and that humans should too. Both of those examples incorporates with the idea that territory is the cause of deaths. On the contrary, the poet says that its love that does everyone in: This statement connects...