In Margaret Atwood's poem "This is a Photograph of Me," which element or technique is most prominent?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Margaret Atwood's poem "This is a Picture of Me" is a poem which can weigh very heavily upon a reader. Her choice of words bring about a sense of melancholy and sadness. The opening of the poem describes a poem using words like "smeared," "blurred," and "blended." It is far from what some readers may expect to be described (given the title of the poem). The narrator, assumed to be Atwood herself, is not even in the picture. Instead, she states that she can be found just under the surface of the lake water in which she had drowned on the previous day.

Given the death and muddled nature of what is depicted in the poem, one could say that the most prominent element of the poem is the mood. The mood, for some readers, is depressing, saddening, and hopeless. This mood is depicted from the opening lines to the closing one (where the reader is "searching" to find Atwood in the photograph).

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