Dos poemas de Margaret Atwood
(Cortesía de la escritora canadiense)

Sor Juana works in the garden


Time for gardening again; for poetry; for arms

up to the elbows in leftover

deluge, hands in the dirt, groping around

among the rootlets, bulbs, lost marbles, blind

snouts of worms, cat droppings, your own future

bones, whatever’s down there

supercharged, a dim glint in the darkness.

When you stand on bare earth in your bare feet

and the lightning whips through you, two ways

at once, they say you are grounded,

and that’s what poetry is: a hot wire.

You might as well stick a fork

in a wall socket. So don’t think it’s just about flowers.

Though it is, in a way.

You spent this morning among the bloodsucking

perennials, the billowing peonies,

the lilies building to outburst,

the leaves of the foxgloves gleaming like hammered

copper, the static crackling among the spiny columbines.

Scissors, portentous trowel, the wheelbarrow

yellow and inert, the grassblades

whispering like ions. You think it wasn’t all working

up to something? You ought to have worn rubber

gloves. Thunder budding in the spires of lupins,

their clumps and updraughts, pollen and resurrection

unfolding from each restless nest

of petals. Your arms hum, the hair

stands up on them; just one touch and you’re struck.

It’s too late now, the earth splits open,

the dead rise,  purblind and stumbling

in the clashing of last-day daily

sunlight, furred angels crawl

all over you like swarming bees, the maple

trees above you shed their deafening keys

to heaven, your exploding

syllables litter the lawn.


From The Door by Margaret Atwood. © 2007. Used by permission of the author.




Straling the hummingbird cup

México. For Mónica Lavín


Once I had a greed for the world.

I wanted to steal things,

I wanted to steal a lot of things.

In recent years, very few.


But today I felt larceny

creeping back into my fingers:

I wanted to steal the hummingbird cup.

If you had a large hand


and you put thumb to index,

that would be the circumference.

If you had a small eye,

the hummingbird would be smaller.


The cup is dark red,

the colour of dried blood,

with a painted feather, or else a wind,

or else a word.


The hummingbird is bright blue.

It perches on the rim

and dips its beak down into the cup,

drinking from what used to be there.


Who made it?

Who was it made for?

Who poured what into it?

With what pleasure?


If only I could steal this cup—

break the glass case, make off with it!

This cup full of happiness

that looks like air,

or spent breath, or shadows

on a day with no sun,

that looks like nothing,

that looks like time,


that looks like whatever you want.



From The Door by Margaret Atwood. © 2007. Used by permission of the author.