Pig Song

By Margaret Atwood b. 1939 Margaret Atwood
This is what you changed me to:   
a greypink vegetable with slug
eyes, buttock
incarnate, spreading like a slow turnip,

a skin you stuff so you may feed
in your turn, a stinking wart
of flesh, a large tuber
of blood which munches
and bloats. Very well then. Meanwhile

I have the sky, which is only half   
caged, I have my weed corners,   
I keep myself busy, singing
my song of roots and noses,

my song of dung. Madame,
this song offends you, these grunts   
which you find oppressively sexual,   
mistaking simple greed for lust.

I am yours. If you feed me garbage,   
I will sing a song of garbage.   
This is a hymn.

Margaret Atwood, “Pig Song” from Selected Poems 1965-1975. Copyright 1974, 1976 by Margaret Atwood. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Poetry (February 1974).


This poem originally appeared in the February 1974 issue of Poetry magazine

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February 1974
 Margaret  Atwood


Regarded as one of Canada’s finest living writers, Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. Her books have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and her native Canada, and she has received numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Governor General’s Award, twice. Atwood’s critical popularity is matched by her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Heroes & Patriotism, Pets, Relationships, Nature, Mythology & Folklore


Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery, Allusion, Dramatic Monologue, Persona

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