Archives for posts with tag: Marie Ponsot

by Marie Ponsot

             “Saturday’s child must work for a living.”

“I’m moving from Grief  Street.
Taxes are high here
though the mortgage’s cheap.

The house is well built.
With stuff to protect, that
mattered to me,
the security.

These things that I mind,
you know, aren’t mine.
I mind minding them.
They weigh on my mind.

I don’t mind them well.
I haven’t got the knack
of  kindly minding.
I say Take them back
but you never do.

When I throw them out
it may frighten you
and maybe me too.

it will empty me
too emptily

and keep me here
asleep, at sea
under the guilt quilt,
under the you tree.”

SOURCE: “Old Mama Saturday” appears in Marie Ponsot’s collection Springing: New and Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002), available at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in 1921, Marie Ponsot is the author of Easy (2009), National Book Critics Circle Award-winner and Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist The Bird Catcher (1998), The Green Dark (1988), and True Minds (1956). With Rosemary Deen, Ponsot co-authored Beat Not the Poor Desk (1982), a guide to teaching writing. She has also translated more than 30 books into English from French, including Love & Folly: Selected Fables and Tales of La Fontaine (2002) and the Golden Book of Fairy Tales (1958). Ponsot’s honors include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shaughnessy Medal of the Modern Language Association, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Prize, and the Lilly Prize. In 2010, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Ponsot has taught at New York University and Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

Author photo by Diane Bondareff (2002), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



by Marie Ponsot

The green vine is moving.

The motion’s too slow to be

visible but it is racing,

racing feeling for a way

across the wall of fence

it’s scrawling on, inches added every day.

Forwarding, sunwarding, it claims

its place. Green states its claim. It writes

the lesson of the day: longing,

longing coming true while arcing

out and up according to the instruction

of desire. Sun-hungry its tip has tilted

toward sun-space. Already

it is speeding leaf-notes out of its root

all along the sprigless budless thread

still scribbling the deed of its location.

In two weeks or one or four

morning                    glory.

Excerpt from the poetry collection EASY. Copyright © 2009 by Marie Ponsot. Find the collection at

Photo: “Morning Glory Vines” by Linda D, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED