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Significant ideas explored in “Solstice Poem” by Margaret Atwood

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Write approximately 250 words stating what significant idea(s) are explored through this text, and how. Use quotes to support your points.

The poem, “Solstice Poem,” by Margaret Atwood is about a mother sharing her thoughts and asking herself how to raise her daughter well so that she will be able to look after herself when she is older.

The 3 main ideas recognized in this poem are the innocence of her daughter/children in general, the protection mothers feel the need to give to their children, and the importance of being true to oneself as we grow up.

In the beginning of the poem the mother is describing her daughter at Christmas time in a contented way. She says, “my daughter crackles paper/festoons herself with silver,” which immediately shows readers that her daughter is at a very young age, an age where they believe blowing on trees will hopefully help make them live, and an age where decorating themselves with sparkly tinsel is all they wish for.

This shows that her daughter is simply too young to understand the complications of life and is content in her own little happy world, therefore signifying the innocence of children at that age. During the last stanza the mother says, “Iron talismans, and ugly, but/more loyal than mirrors,” which shows that innocence is temporary therefore some part of it is going to be destroyed.

In the 2nd stanza, the mother starts to question herself on the things she can do to help protect her innocent child from all the awful things in life once her child grows up.

The mother uses rhetorical questions, “what can I give her/ How can I teach her,” which illustrates the uncertainty she has in raising her daughter up because she feels that having the role of the mother, she should be the one who protects her daughter from bad influences and to help teach her daughter to become independent so she will be able to make her own choices and be proud of them.

Throughout the end of the poem the mother talks about all the things she wants to tell her daughter, for example, “I would like to tell her, Love/is enough,” which demonstrates that the mother wants to tell her that her life will be great but she can’t because she knows from her own experiences that it won’t be all that great.

She says, “Be ruthless when you have to, tell/the truth when you can,/when you can see it,” which means that she wants her daughter to be true to herself and never allow other people to change who she is, because there will be people out there who will tell her otherwise.

The author also uses capitalization in “Love/Dance,” to show that these important concepts are important things in life which will help her stay true to her beliefs and what is true to herself.

In conclusion all these ideas of innocence, protection, and being true to oneself contribute to one major idea which is “Love.” The poet has proven to readers that giving the gift of absolute love to your child is what will help them with life which ultimately is the best gift mothers can give to their children.

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