Monday, April 5, 2010

Just Another Metrical Monday: Marie Ponsot

It seems to me that poetry is a good way to start a week — especially a week in April, which is National Poetry Month. Let's see if that's true.

Marie Ponsot was born in Queens, New York, in 1921. In addition to creating powerful, insightful poetry, she is the mother of seven children, a grandmother and great grandmother of many; I mention this because it sometimes looms large in her work.

To be as joyful and energetic as Marie Ponsot is at 89 would be a blessing at any age. Have a look at this video.

This 1998 poem is about a new addition to the family, just learning to walk.


(for Douglas, at one)
Archaic, his gestures
hieratic, just like Caesar or Sappho
or Mary’s Jesus or Ann’s Mary or Jane  
Austen once, or me or your mother’s you

the sudden baby surges to his feet  
and sways, head forward, chin high,  
arms akimbo, hands dangling idle,  
elbows up, as if winged.

The features of his face stand out  
amazed, all eyes as his aped posture  
sustains him aloft
                        a step a step a rush  
and he walks,

Young Anyone, his lifted point of view  
far beyond the calendar.

What time is it? Firm in time  
he is out of date—

like a cellarer for altar wines  
tasting many summers in one glass,

or like a grandmother
in whose womb her
granddaughter once
slept in egg inside
grandma’s unborn daughter’s  
folded ovaries.

For more about Marie Ponsot...

No comments:

Post a Comment