Friday, April 30, 2010

Poetry Friday and Poetry Quote of the Day: Marie Ponsot

Yesterday, for Poem in Your Pocket Day, I carried a poem by Marie Ponsot.

First, a quote from her, gleaned from her bio at Poets. org. When asked why poetry matters, Ponsot replied:
"There's a primitive need for language that works as an instrument of discovery and relief, that can make rich the cold places of our inner worlds with the memorable tunes and dreams poems hold for us."

And now, a poem to make rich the cold places of our inner worlds...

One Is One
by Marie Ponsot

Heart, you bully, you punk, I'm wrecked, I'm shocked
stiff. You? you still try to rule the world---though
I've got you: identified, starving, locked
in a cage you will not leave alive, no
matter how you hate it, pound its walls,
& thrill its corridors with messages.

Brute. Spy. I trusted you. Now you reel & brawl
in your cell but I'm deaf to your rages,

The rest is here.

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Mary Ann at Great Kid Books.


  1. I needed that poem today. Good choice for your pocket poem.

  2. Excellent choice for a pocket poem. I must say, if you hadn't told me who the poet was, I'd have thought you might have written it.

  3. Aw, Jama. I wish.

    Adrienne, I should've blogged about why I love this poem so much, but instead, I keep re-reading it and letting it thump me. :)

  4. Sometimes poetry can be so hard to talk about. Technically, it's such an interesting poem. She ends the last two lines with "us"--something I'd *never* do--and somehow it doesn't fall flat. There is rhyming going on, but it's not consistent, which mirrors the theme of the poem, it seems to me. The way the narrator speaks directly to her heart could be so hokey, but it works because that voice is angry, but it's an angry that seems to want to be hope, just adding a little more something to think about.

    So that's some stuff I could say.

    Also, though, sometimes I just get really pissed off at my own heart, of course. I get that.

  5. I confess I didn't notice the rhyme the first time I read it---the furious voice with the undercurrent of hope pulled me through the images so forcefully that I overlooked the structure of the poem. It's absolutely thrilling to read this out loud and cuss out anything you have a love/hate relationship with.

    But I do think the rhyme is vital, for it underscores "one is one" in the way it repeats "us" twice.

    Did you notice that the site that features this poem is all about the Enneagram? There's a wealth of poems linked to various personalities and analysis of each type. So fascinating.

  6. I read the name Marie Ponsot and swung on right over. Thank you, and for all your great posts in April!

  7. Wonderful poem!

    Laura Evans
    all things poetry

  8. Oh, those double agent, bully punk hearts of ours! We think they only feel, but they are smart enough to confuse us with knots like "jailers are prisoners' prisoners too."

  9. This poem really grabbed me too, although I have no idea what it is about. The prisoner's prisoner got me good but I was thinking about parenting in that reaction...


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