I read this piece called Undersung by Julie Larios, writer of books for children, poet and poetry editor, in the e-magazine Numero Cinq (A Warm Place on A Cruel Web) in the January 2014 edition. It’s about the poet Marie Ponsot, (who’s story fits right in with the AWW principle) and her poetry, which is quoted in the article, and is terrific. She first published her work in 1956, then turned herself over to motherhood, not publishing again until some 25 years later in 1981. Larios says this of Ponsot: “It’s difficult to pigeon-hole Ponsot – her poems include references to myth and medieval iconography but do strange Beat-Generation things to syntax sometimes and send out hipster vibes. She can be funny, political, lyrical, light, heavy, post-modern, formal and free-wheeling, but she is not consistently any of them.”
The review explores the notions of recognition, success, life as a”career poet” and how that might (not) fit with woman/mother-hood. It is erudite, authoritative and worth the read. I like that this woman Julie Larios, has such a clear-sighted and deep empathy with the life of that woman Marie Ponsot, and can afford her the respect and recognition she deserves. That many, many undersung women writers deserve.
Here’s the link:
A final thought; I am enormously encouraged by these words quoted from Marie Ponsot herself : “it’s a very enjoyable thing,” she says, “to be an old writer. It’s bliss! It’s really a highly entertaining state. You manage as long as language lasts. And language lasts a long time. Language is a sturdy companion, I think.”
Hooray for that!