From the award-winning author of The Bird Catcher, this life-spanning volume offers the delight of both discovery and re-discovery, as Ponsot tends the unruly garden of her mind with her customary care and passion. The book opens with a group of new poems, including “What Would You Like to Be When You Grow Up?”—a question that has kept Ponsot’s work vital for more than fivFrom the award-winning author of The Bird Catcher, this life-spanning volume offers the delight of both discovery and re-discovery, as Ponsot tends the unruly garden of her mind with her customary care and passion. The book opens with a group of new poems, including “What Would You Like to Be When You Grow Up?”—a question that has kept Ponsot’s work vital for more than five decades. Throughout the selections from her four earlier books and a trove of previously unpublished work covering the years 1946 to 1971, she offers us a “lost haven in a springing world.” Sometimes sharp in her self-perception, but always listing toward pleasure and elegance, unafraid of grief and the passage of time, Ponsot continually refreshes her language and the spirited self from which it emerges.From the Hardcover edition....
|Title||:||Springing: New and Selected Poems|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Springing: New and Selected Poems Reviews
OUT OF WATERA new embroidery of flowers, canary color, dots the grass already dotty with aster-white and clover.I warn, “They won’t last, out of water.”The children pick some anyway.In or out of waterchildren don’t last either.I watch them as they pick.Still free of what’s next and what was yesterdaythey pick today. (2002)ANNIVERSARYThe big doll being broken and the sawdust fallall scattered by my shoes, not cryingI sit in my dark to discover o failure annulledopens out in my hands a purse of goldensalvaged sovereigns, from floors of seas culled.The dancing doll split in an anguish and allthe cords of its elegant limbs unstrung; Istumble whistling; the bones of my skullmarvelously start to sing, the whole shellof myself invents without peril and contains a courtaubade.I hid the dovesmall doll but something found it. Fright enedI gave the fire what was left. Surrounding, it mulleddulcet over the melting jeweled two blue eyes.That night our hearth was desolate, but then its stonessprung flowered and the soaring rafters arched.Now all the house laughs, the sun shouts out clearly:dawn!the sea owes us all its treasures; under the soft the riotousexplosion of our waking kiss or gift, a stone plucked orshornfree of gravity falls upward for us, slow, and lies there,quietly.(1951)*
Springing: New and Selected Poems was published when Ponsot was 80. The longevity of this wiry, wily Queens native is one attribute that sets her apart from the bulk of her fellow poets. (I, for one, am used to thinking of poets as an alcohol-swilling, pill-popping, self-destructive, maladaptive tribe who revel in their unhealthy lifestyles and have a tendency to die young.) Another distinguishing trait is Ponsot's polyphiloprogenitiveness: after enduring a bitter divorce from her French artist husband Claude, this unflappable poet retreated to the United States to raise their brood of seven children on her own.Ponsot's warm maternal personality shines in this generous selection of her work, brimming with both celebration and cerebration. Through these poems, we become acquainted with a down-to-earth woman who is unembarrassed by her lack of wealth, a neighborly woman who knows the local Italian grocer and Hispanic "bodega lady" by name, a motherly woman who has empathy to spare for the teenage gang members who loiter in front of the bodega:"I have nothing to fear from themBeing I guess afraid only of the loss of loveAnd of hurting children. And so hereI have nothing to fear." (from "Pleasant Avenue")These poems allow us to spend time with a wide-eyed, open-hearted soul who enjoys reading, birdwatching, gardening, and travel. Ponsot's "Ville Indigene: Afrique du Nord" is a lovely travel poem, one of those rare travel poems that succeeds in not being condescending toward the natives it describes.Ponsot's first published collection was the optimistically titled True Minds (City Lights, 1956). These early poems, like many a writer's apprentice work, are highly ornate, almost turgid expressions of the ecstasy of youthful passion. A successful poem from this period is the very pretty "Ritournelle, for Paris 1948." Ponsot's second collection, the wryly named Admit Impediment, was not published until 1981. These more mature poems are Ponsot's best: they chronicle the poet's growth in wisdom as she witnesses the dissolution of her marriage (see the tour-de-force poem "For a Divorce": if your interest in divorce-themed poetry was whetted by Sharon Olds's "Stag's Leap," Ponsot's verse blows everything else out of the water), the death of her mother, and the departure of her grown children from the nest. These poems espouse a sassy, humor-laced brand of feminism that is appealing rather than off-putting ("Among Women" and "Live Model" exemplify this).I was not as deeply enamored of Ponsot's post-1981 poems, which struck me as rather less formally taut than her earlier work. When she is showing off her formalist chops, though, Ponsot is a force to be reckoned with. If you admire, say, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, the contemporary female formalist poet that Ponsot most resembles, reading just a few of Ponsot's brilliant villanelles ("Northampton Style") and masterful sonnets ("Winter") will ensure Ponsot joins (or supplants) her in your regard.
she writes a sestina like no other. the later poems are quite interesting as well. this is genius.
811.54 P799s 2002
I just have to add that I love Ponsot's work. She is so intelligent, and her work is so beautiful. Poets and non-poets can enjoy her poetry and learn from it.
Some of these poems in the collection really pop with the color of a well lived life. The middle and later work certainly marks the strongest of the collection.
Ponsot is a master of the sestina.