Well, I already knew she was one of the most prolific writers in English, but I didn't know until reently that she was also a poet. And an amazing one! I've been reading Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New, 1976-1986. This excerpt is
from "Five Poems for Grandmothers"
by Margaret Atwood
It is not the things themselves
that are lost, but their use and handling.
The ladder first; the beach;
the storm windows, the carpets;
The dishes, washed daily
for so many years the pattern
has faded; the floor, the stairs, your own
arms and feet whose work
you thought defined you;
The hairbrush, the oil stove
with its many failures,
the apple tree and the barrels
in the cellar for the apples,
the flesh of apples; the judging
of the flesh, the recipes
in tiny brownish writing
with the names of those who passed them
from hand to hand: Gladys,
Lorna, Winnie, Jean.
If you could only have them back
or remember who they were.
You can read the entire poem(s) here.