Leave it to the graceful Marie Ponsot, now in her late eighties, to view her life in poetry as easeful. As she tells us, pondering what stones can hear, "Between silence and sound / we are balancing darkness, / making light of it." In this celebratory collection, Ponsot makes light, in both senses, of all she touches, and her pleasure in offering ...
Leave it to the graceful Marie Ponsot, now in her late eighties, to view her life in poetry as easeful. As she tells us, pondering what stones can hear, "Between silence and sound / we are balancing darkness, / making light of it." In this celebratory collection, Ponsot makes light, in both senses, of all she touches, and her pleasure in offering these late poems is infectious. After more than a half century at her craft, she describes her poetic preferences unpretentiously thus: "no fruity phrases, just unspun / words trued right toward a nice / idea, for chaser. True's a risk. / Take it I say. Do true for fun." Ponsot is accepting of what has come, whether it's a joyous memory of her second-grade teacher in a New York public school or the feeling of being "Orphaned Old," less lucky in life since her parents died. She holds herself to the highest standard: to see clearly, to think, to deal openhandedly and openheartedly with the world, to "Go to a wedding / as to a funeral: / bury the loss" and also to "Go to a funeral / as to a wedding: / marry the loss." She confides that she meets works of great art "expectant and thirsty." Indeed, Ponsot's thirst for life and its best expression, for the sprightly phrase and the deeper understanding running beneath, makes this book a transformative experience. The wisdom and music of "Easy, " like all of Ponsot's poetry, will remain with her readers for decades to come.
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Marie Ponsot's poetry never fails to give the reader pause. Evocative, provocative and lovely, Ponsot is a master at putting the words to together in order to create emotion. This is a beautiful book of poems, intimate, funny, maddening and very mature.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-09-21 Effortless and stunning in its grace and movement, Ponsot's newest collection follows the prompting of its title, which can be read as personal affirmation or a direction: "simmer down" she imperatively writes, "lay your cards on the linen faceup // causing a music to start." Many of the poems create connections across distance, whether it's the air in a kitchen evoking "Alhambra years ago," the cloud barrier separating earth and space, or something even more ephemeral: "Between silence and sound // we are balancing darkness." Playful humor springs up, as well as departures to childhood or rewritten fables. Yet even at these moments the poems are like "stones, holding each other into a wall." Old age is an ever-present lens for Ponsot (Springing), who is in her late 80s. "Walking Home from the Museum," for instance, recalls "radiant saviors... // at ease in their deathlife." Ponsot is a master poet, still at the height of her powers: "The place of language is the place between me// and the world of presences I have lost" (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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