Quote 5

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fish hook
An open eye

In “You fit into me,” what initially appears a conventional, even silly love poem quickly becomes dark and harrowing. Atwood overturns the expected definition of “hook and eye” and replaces it with an image of brutality and violence. Atwood frequently uses surprise in her poems. Here, she replaces a door-fastening device with the metal that punctures the flesh of the fish. She establishes very specific expectations and then gleefully tramples them. The power of this setup/letdown formula often hinges, as in this poem, on the multiple meanings of words. “You fit into me” succinctly captures Atwood’s interest in the mechanisms of language, the multiplicity of words, and the many layers of meanings.

Popular pages: Margaret Atwood’s Poetry