Thursday, April 30, 2020

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with three poetry books, a magnificent snippet, and a poem that I wish I had written for and about my husband. 

I've lost a lot of my reading focus for my usual fiction, so I decided to wander through Overdrive and check out some of the available books of poetry.

The first book I read was The Circle Game by Margaret Atwood. While I've enjoyed much of Atwood's fiction, this volume of poetry left me feeling mainly puzzled and disoriented. Many of the poems interested me, but I didn't feel that I could relate or understand. I'm fairly sure the fault lay with this reader.

The second book was Easy by Marie Ponsot. The author was described by her publisher as "graceful", and I would describe her poetry the same way. I found these poems both beautiful and accessible, especially this brilliant one entitled "Magnanimous, Magnificent", which ends with these lines:

Say you like it. Admit you've had some good luck.
Thank your friends for arriving on time. To the others,
the ones you dream of as enemies,
smile and say Thank you., and then try to mean it. 
As the music stops you'll miss its lilt.
Keep dancing, keep listening. Speak up. 
Ask for more music, more. In case you don't know,
what you want is magnificent, yours for the asking,
the rhythm of magnanimous exchange.

The last one I read was Listening Through the Bone by Willy Conley. The author is deaf, and says he doesn't "write with the ear as most poets do, but with the eye." His poetry examines life cycles, the natural world, and his experiences as a deaf individual. This volume also contains some arresting photographs. I read this one to John as it felt very personal and could have written about him. 

The Proof of the Pudding

He loved rice pudding,
especially the way his mother made it.
When he and his girlfriend got married,
his bride cooked him rice pudding.
"Nope, not like my mother's."

His wife flipped through
another cookbook and 
tried a different recipe.
"Nope, not like my mother's."

She would take her husband
out to eat at a fancy restaurant.
For dessert, she ordered him rice pudding. 
"Nope, not like my mother's."

One of her friends, a gourmet cook,
prepared an extraordinarily
irresistible rice pudding recipe
when they came over.
"Nope, not like my mother's."

One day, his wife went to the A&P
and bought ready-made rice pudding.
When he wasn't looking, 
she spooned it out in a bowl
and sprinkled on a little cinnamon. 
"Yep, just like my mother's."

Read any good poetry lately? I'd love to hear about it!

Be sure to visit Carole for more Three on Thursday thoughts.


  1. I love that last one -- it reads like an amusing anecdote and is a reminder that poetry doesn't have to be fancy to be enjoyable.

  2. I have poets I love, and I love to read them. Over and over. But one of my favorite library-things to do (physically or on Overdrive) is to just "walk" through the poetry section and pick out books at random. It's such a great way to discover "new" (to me, at least) poets. Thank you for sharing your recent random-poetry finds. I adore the rice pudding poem! (I agree with you about Margaret Atwood's poetry. It think it's . . . mostly pretty weird. Although every once in a while I find a gem.)

  3. Proof of the Pudding is so good!! Laugh out loud funny.

  4. This is a great poem, and so very true! I have often made what I thought were gourmet versions of things and found that the men in my life wanted the bought version! I think most of us like what we are used to, and also what connects us to our fondest memories. Thanks for sharing, Bonny.

  5. That rice pudding poem is terrific! I think I avoid poetry because I'm afraid I won't "get it" like Atwood's stuff. I do love the lines you shared from Easy as well.

  6. Oh my I can relate to that last poem! :-) Thank-you for sharing today Bonny and like Carole I do feel like I just don't get it most of the time too. I have "a collection of poetry" square on my bingo card though so I'll go in one of these days!

  7. I didn't realize Margaret Atwood wrote poetry! Thank you for teaching me something new. I am usually not much of a poetry-reader but when I get the urge, I usually pull out Mary Oliver.

  8. Leave it up to you to make me tear up and then laugh ... thank you! Did John laugh, too?!

  9. Um no. But the rice pudding poem is perfection

  10. Thank you-- these poems--both that you quoted--are wonderful!

  11. Okay, I am adding these books to my poetry list! Thank you! (And, I just love the Rice Pudding Poem!)

  12. I did not know of the last two poets you mentioned so thank you for bringing them to my attention. Oh the rice pudding - so true. I prefer poems that I can understand - the ones that are accessible. Naomi Shihab Nye is one of my favorites. Jane Hirschfield is another. I may treat myself to Hirschfield's newest volume, Ledger, as a summer read.


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