Power Politics

Margaret Atwood

Power Politics by Margaret Atwood, is a captivating book of poetry, first published in 1971.
As the title suggests, the poetry wraps itself around the notions of power and politics through the story of a relationship which seems to be coming apart, unravelling through thoughts and situations with each page.
The question ‘The personal is political’ resonates across the core of the texts.
The book may seem like a quick read, but it is far from being a simple one, as it makes the reader evaluate, consider and question. Question through and about the poignant words set in-between the love, and in-between the hate. The intensity within the emotion is established from the first page, with a bold set of words that greets the reader. 
Power Politics refers to what happens between two people, in a personal relationship. Is there power and politics in a love story? 
And if so, why is there?
As Margaret Atwood effectively writes, “If I love you, is that a fact or a weapon?”
The idea of an unbalanced relationship, why power may be given up to the other person are versed about in Power Politics.  Atwood manages to recompose the romanticised idea of a love story, from how it had previously been written about, into a different narrative, whilst challenging the gender norms.
With a mixture of realism and metaphorical surreal fierce prose, she takes the ideal idea of romance and places it into the position and context of what a woman may face and feel throughout a relationship. The narration through the female lens analyses and ‘dissects’ any power and politics within a relationship. This, in contrast to the male poets who had written about women mainly from their perspective. Margaret Atwood is an extremely good and sharp writer, the poems are an insight into the workings of challenging one sided viewpoints.  
There is too, an existential element to Margaret Atwood’s prose, with concerns that parallel the politics of the time, that of women’s rights and equality. Concerns of the time, and of now.

 Power Politics by Margaret Atwood 

House of Anansi 

Book cover by Chloe Cushman

 Power Politics by Margaret Atwood 

House of Anansi