From "The First, at the Last"

By Marie Ponsot b. 1921 Marie Ponsot
All he undertook
goes under, under
the undergrowth he rose from
fly-boy, lovely
in his day.
All his clothes
— spruce suit & tie —
are underclothes
against ungrounded gray.
All his studies understudy
an unstudied play.
 
          Under the under
          of what I remember
          we are both twenty
          and except with each other
          underemployed.

                 It is summer.
                Under our butter, bread,
                summer’s hunger satisfied.

From Springing: New and Selected Poems by Marie Ponsot, copyright © 2002 by Marie Ponsot. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. Interested parties must apply directly to Random House, Inc. for permission.

Source: Poetry (May 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2013
 Marie  Ponsot

Biography

Born in New York, poet and translator Marie Ponsot is the daughter of a teacher and a wine importer and was raised Catholic, a faith she still observes. She earned a BA at St. Joseph’s College for Women in Brooklyn, New York, and an MA in 17th-century literature at Columbia University. On a ship to Paris after World War II, she met poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who later published Ponsot’s debut collection through . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Time & Brevity, Youth

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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