THE BIRD CATCHER: Poems by Marie Ponsot


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With relatively few volumes published in a career that spans 40 years, Ponsot deserves a wide and admiring audience for her finely crafted, tough-minded verse. Her profoundly Catholic sense of sin and guilt wrestles with more pagan inspirations: a Greek serving dish yields as much about suffering (""Reading a Large Serving Dish"") as does an illuminated Irish manuscript about form (""The Split Image of Attention""). ""Explorers Cry Out Unheard"" discovers the savage truths in an imagined wilderness; and ""What the Worn Rhymes Found"" is this: ""the tough unsayable remains."" Ponsot's wordplay and syntax never exist for their own sake; her different styles fit the mood; and ""The meanest mistake/has a point to make."" Bluesy, formal, domestic, death-contemplating, risk-tasking: Ponsot proves to be a poet of impeccable sensibility and remarkably good sense.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
Page count: 104pp
Publisher: Knopf