“You Fit Into Me” is a four-line poem written by Margaret Atwood that was first published in Power Politics in 1971.
Instructors’ Teaching Experience
This is a great poem to use to introduce a section on poetry because it so perfectly demonstrates the economy of language demanded by poetry, but also how that economy can be powerful. [Lindsey Row-Heyveld, firstname.lastname@example.org]
When you ask students what they think about this poem, someone will inevitably claim that it hardly counts as a poem: It’s only four lines! They could write it themselves! In five minutes! A great response it to challenge them to do just that. We first examine what the poem is doing (how it vividly and quickly creates one image only to reverse it quickly and vividly into a completely contradictory image) and then they have 10 minutes to write another poem that creates an image only to negate it with another corresponding image–and do it in four lines (or 16 words, if you’re feeling especially demanding). It’s a great way to get students to close read, but also to impress on them how deceptively complex simple-looking poetry often is. [Lindsey Row-Heyveld, email@example.com]