The Animals in that Country by Margaret Atwood

The Animals in that Country
1968

In that country the animals
have the faces of people:

the ceremonial
cats possessing the streets

the fox run
politely to earth, the huntsmen
standing around him, fixed
in their tapestry of manners

the bull, embroidered
with blood and given
an elegant death, trumpets, his name
stamped on him, heraldic brand
because

(when he rolled
on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth
in his blue mouth were human)

he is really a man

even the wolves, holding resonant
conversations in their
forests thickened with legend.

In this country the animals
have the faces of
animals.

Their eyes
flash once in car headlights
and are gone.

Their deaths are not elegant.

They have the faces of
no-one

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
Born: 18 November 1939, Ottawa, Canada
Nationality: Canadian

Atwood is a poet, literary critic, essayist, novelist, environmental activist and inventor. She has published eighteen books of poetry, eleven books of non-fiction, eighteen novels, nine collections of short fiction, and eight children’s books since 1961. She has won numerous awards and honours for her writing, including the Booker Prize, Arthur C Clarke Award, Franz Kafka Award, and the Princess of Asturias Award. A number of her works have also been adapted for film and television.

2 thoughts on “The Animals in that Country by Margaret Atwood

  1. She is one of my 3 favourite authors of all time. And although I know some of her poetry, I somehow always forget she is a poet, and then I get reminded how her poetry is as good as her prose.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

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