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The Bird Catcher

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In 1998, Marie Ponsot was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, confirming the praise that has been bestowed on her by critics and peers--among them Eavan Boland and Carolyn Kizer (who are quoted on the back of the book jacket) and Amy Clampitt, who had this to say of Ponsot's last book: "She is marvelously attuned to the visual and to the audible. She ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published December 21st 1999 by Knopf (first published February 10th 1998)
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Feb 14, 2008 Sophie rated it liked it
Too many gardens, Eden and otherwise, but it had its moments. Like this one:


Heart, you bully, you punk, I'm wrecked, I'm shocked
stiff. You? you still try to rule the world--though
I've got you: identified, starving, locked
in a cage you will not leave alive, no
matter how you hate it, pound its walls,
& thrill its corridors with messages.

Brute. Spy. I trusted you. Now you reel & brawl
in your cell but I'm deaf to your rages,
your greed to go solo, your eloquent
threats of worse things
Mary Lee
Jan 24, 2014 Mary Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, adult
My favorite poem was "A Determined Present."

Thank you, Julie Larios, for introducing me to this poet!!
May 19, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Whatever she is writing about, Ponsot has her way with her words. They sing. Perhaps my favorite poem, because of the last word in it, is “Persephone, Packing.” She writes of her dream, “It can’t die out or blossom; / it’s stuck in autumn, impacted, / its roots spidered, replete, / like the bulb narcissus, / like daffodil & hyacinth in bulb, / or tulips, daughtering.”
Apr 14, 2008 Lesley rated it it was amazing
This book is my standard. While I may never reach Ponsot's level, I can at least dream.
Sep 09, 2013 Bean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I couldn't get enough of this brilliance
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Jan 24, 2016
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Marie Ponsot is an American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator.

fter graduating from St. Joseph's College for Women in Brooklyn, Ponsot earned her master's degree in seventeenth-century literature from Columbia University. After the Second World War, she journeyed to Paris, where she met and married Claude Ponsot, a painter and student of Fernand Léger. The couple lived in Par
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