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She then attended the University of Sussex, receiving a Ph D for her thesis "The Garden Master: The Poetry of Theodore Roethke" in 1972 (it was published as a book in 1975).After she completed her Ph D, Sullivan moved to France to teach at the University of Dijon, and later at the University of Bordeaux.Not as conspicuous in the treatment of environmental and socio-cultural issues as most of her later poetry is, the poems in this collection almost unanimously highlight the perpetual contrast and the inherent conflict between nature and the ways adopted by mankind to dominate it.
Two years later she was hired at the University of Victoria, and then in 1977 at the University of Toronto, where she taught until her retirement.
In 1978, she decided to dedicate herself to her writing, while still teaching. Sullivan's first collection of poems, The Space a Name Makes, was awarded the Gerald Lampert Award for the best first book of poetry published in Canada in 1968.
The occupation of her father as a prominent entomological researcher had a drastic effect on the eventual career of his daughter.
Margaret Atwood discovered her interest in nature and natural phenomena at a very early age due to the site of her father’s research which was often the woods in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec where the family mostly spent its summers.
By juxtaposing the artificiality of language and the constructive quality of art in general with nature Atwood comments on the arbitrariness of man’s life in regards to such genuine concepts as love and literature.
Atwood’s next collection of poems, (1968) carries on the theme of conflict between man and nature with a particular emphasis on environmental issues.Imagery associated with natural phenomena like fire and water are accentuated through drawings accompanying the poems and contrasted, at the same time, with images pertaining to architecture, art, and design as aspects of civilization.Simultaneously, in this collection of poems, forces of nature and the unconscious giving rise to creative arts are being perpetually juxtaposed with the clearly defined, logical images arising from man’s approaches in conquering nature.Atwood’s fame, however, also rests on her voluminous contributions to the genres of poetry and short story.Moreover, as a critical analyst, historian, and essayist, Atwood’s writings have appeared in a wide range of scholarly material spanning from college and university textbooks to important literary journals and anthologies.In (1970) the power of the unconscious to shape the persona is taken to an unprecedented level.In a general sense, all Atwood’s poems deal with a search for identity in different levels and in this collection, the nature of the supernatural connection between man and nature and "the artist as a shamanistic figure" (Hönnighausen 105) give further rise to this quest.Aside from her writing career, Sullivan has worked with Amnesty International since 1979, and in 1980 she founded a congress to aid its activities.by Manijeh Mannani Best known for her novels, Margaret Atwood is recognized as one of Canada’s most prominent and prolific contemporary writers.Conflict, in general, constitutes the backbone of most of Atwood’s poetry and in it extends to the contention that exists between genders, art and nature, and Canadians as a distinct nation vis-à-vis other people among other binary oppositions.The highly metaphoric use of language in most of the poems in this collection, but most notably in poems like "Playing Cards" and "An Attempted Solution for Chess Problems" highlight the limitations mankind sets for himself in his interaction with the world in the same way laws and regulations governing children’s games are restricted to the games and not applicable to the real world, outside.