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You Fit Into Me

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You Fit Into Me

Margaret Atwood writes in a vivid, witty and often sharply discomfiting style in all of her literary works. To call her a feminist author is in a way selling her short as her work, while often centered on issues of gender, has also focused on Canadian national identity, Canada's relations with the United States and Europe, human rights issues, environmental issues, and the Canadian wilderness. The poem that I chose to analyze is a very short poem consisting of only four lines titled "You Fit Into Me." It was originally published in Margaret Atwood's anthology Power Politics, but the book I read it in is called, To Hell With Love, which is a collection of poems dealing with heartache and healing after a break-up. As one reads "You Fit Into Me," more and more meaning emerges. Just as a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, a few good lines of verse can pack as much emotional content as a whole paragraph of ordinary prose.

I was 21 years old and had just ended a tumultuous five year relationship with my high school sweetheart the first time I had read the poem. My best friend had given me the book To Hell With Love for Valentine's Day that year so as to alleviate the stress of it being my first Valentine's Day alone since I was 16. After reading the poem, I was taken aback by its length. It was the first time I had ever read a poem that short that actually made sense to me. When a poem only uses a few dozen words, each word becomes extremely important and as soon as I read the poem, every single word was important to me.

The first stanza, "You fit into me/ Like a hook into an eye" (1-2), was like a symbol of the beginning of my relationship. It stood out to me because I am an avid sewer and had instantly thought of an eye hook enclosure. It fits together so perfectly, so smoothly, exactly like we did at first. The second stanza, "fish hook / open eye" (3-4), was even more powerful because that was how our relationship ended, like an unexpected and painful injury to my heart and psyche.

Poetry is pleasurable because it allows us to expand our minds in order to grasp what the author is trying to say. Metaphors are used in poetry to broaden the way we look at things. They prevent us from thinking with one-track minds that conveniently shut down when they are urged to think on a level that is beyond literal. Metaphors also work with few words to convey much meaning. The way in which a metaphor is written in one line can change the meaning of the poem without directly stating it. For instance, when I read the title of this poem, I immediately surmised that this piece would characterize a content relationship between two people. Reading the line, "you fit into me / like a hook into an eye" (1-2) gives one a picture of two jovial people having a lot in common. Their relationship is not incredibly tough to work at, and does not require any need for improvement. However, Atwood's next line tells us that the



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