Friday, January 20, 2017


Here is Marie Ponsot, half circled by five of her seven children once upon a time — author of a first book, True Minds, published in 1956 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti for his City Lights Pocket Poets series, and a second book published twenty-five years later — Admit Impediment in 1981. During those in-between years, she divorced her husband, the French artist Claude Ponsot, and raised the children as a single parent. To help raise that family, Ponsot taught basic composition at Queens College. She also translated more than 30 books from French into English. One of those celebrated translations include versions of La Fontaine’s fables and Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. 
Her Collected Poems was one of remarkable books in 2016.


Among Women

What women wander?

Not many. All. A few.

Most would, now & then,

& no wonder.

Some, and I’m one,

Wander sitting still.

My small grandmother

Bought from every peddler 

Less for the ribbons and lace

Than for their scent

Of sleep where you will, 

Walk out when you want, choose

Your bread and your company. 

She warned me, “Have nothing to lose.”

She looked fragile but had

High blood, runner’s ankles,

Could endure, endure.

She loved her rooted garden, her

Grand children, her once

Wild once young man.

Women wander

As best they can.


Marie Ponsot
Knopf 2016