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Margaret Atwood (born 1939)

Born in Ottawa, Canada, as a poet and novelist Margaret Eleanor Atwood has already won her wide recognition as Canada's foremost woman of letters, and she has been one of the most troubling and most visionary authors of our time. Hers is a voice to which we must attend as we face anguished times. Atwood pointed out that she had begun dealing with themes such as growing up female in the 1950s and gender-role changes before they were popularized by the women's liberation movement. You can read and listen here one of her poems recorded by Frank Healey. 

Click on PLAY to listen to the audio file of this poem.
Pulsa en REPRODUCIR para escuchar este poema. 


Game After Supper

El Juego Después de la Cena

This is before electricity,
it is when there were porches.

On the
sagging porch an old man
is rocking. The porch is wooden,
the house is wooden and grey;
in the living room which smells of
smoke and mildew, soon
the woman will light the kerosene lamp.

There is a barn but I am not in the barn;
there is an orchard too, gone bad,
its apples like soft cork
but I am not there either.

I am hiding in the long grass
with my two dead cousins,
the membrane grown already
across their throats.

We hear crickets and our own hearts
close to our ears;
though we giggle, we are afraid.

From the shadows around
the corner of the house
a tall man is coming to find us:

He will be an uncle,
if we are lucky.

Esto es anterior a la electricidad,
es de cuando las casas tenían galerías.

En la galería curva un anciano
se está hamacando. La galería es de madera,
la casa es de madera y gris,
en la sala de estar que huele a 
humo y moho, pronto
la mujer encenderá la lámpara de querosén.

Hay un granero pero no me encuentro en él;
También un huerto, en mal estado,
sus manzanas como corcho blando
pero tampoco me encuentro allí.

Estoy escondida entre el pasto alto
con mis dos primos ya fallecidos,
la membrana ya desarrollada
en sus gargantas.

Oímos los grillos y los propios corazones
pegados a nuestros oídos;
aunque nos reimos, sentimos miedo.

De las sombras que rodean
una esquina de la casa
un hombre alto viene a buscarnos:

Será un tío,
si tenemos suerte.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood



wide recognition: vastly famous (extensa fama, amplio reconocimiento)
: prominent, remarkable (destacada)
as we face anguish times
: when we have to deal with problematic moments (cuando enfrentamos tiempos llenos de angustia)
pointed out
: remarked (resaltó, destacó)
gender-role changes: the overt expression of attitudes that indicate to others the degree of your maleness or femaleness (cambio de roles en ambos sexos)

to sag / sagged / sagged / sagging: to droop (curvarse, doblarse)
to smell / smelt / smelt / smelling: to emit an odor - to smell of... (oler a...)
to hide / hid / hidden / hiding
: to prevent from being seen (no dejarse ver, esconderse)
to grow / grew / grown / growing: to become larger or greater (crecer, desarrollarse)
to hear / heard / heard / hearing: to perceive sound (oir)
to find / found / found / finding:
to come upon after searching (encontrar, hallar)


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