Poet's Choice

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By ROBERT PINSKY
Sunday, November 11, 2007

The distinguished fiction writer Margaret Atwood is also a terrific poet. She even writes memorable poems about being a poet, for example, "The poet has come back . . . ," a sharp reminder that poetry is not merely good thoughts well expressed:

The poet has come back to being a poet

after decades of being virtuous instead.

Can't you he both?

No. Not in public.

You could, once,

back when God was still thundering vengeance

and liked the scent of blood,

and hadn't got around to slippery forgiveness.

Then you could scatter incense and praise,

and wear your snake necklace,

and hymn the crushed skulls of your enemies


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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