Monday, January 22, 2007

Marie Ponsot

Marie Ponsot, bilingual in French and English, lived in Europe and North Africa, worked as a translator of children's literature before coming to the US to teach at Queens College in NY.

Communion of Saints: The Poor Bastard Under the Bridge
The arrows of the narrow moon flock down direct
Into that looking heart by Seine walls unprotected.
Moonward the eyes of that hurt head still will
Stare and scarcely see the moonlight spill
Because black Notre Dame between her towers
Strikes home to him the third of this day's hours
And he, now man, heaped cold afaint
Below the Pont Marie will, with a shout,
Enlist among the triumphant when Poor Saint
Julien's bells will clock out
In his rags, unchapleted, almost astray
Among the dead packed all immaculate away
Under the city, he awaits his sentry
The four o'clock moon to warrant for his entry
o and pure
The pure in children's ranks by bells immured
In gowns of light will singing telling rise
Unfold their arms impelled without surprise
Will lift up flowered laurel, will walk out
Among their golden singing like a victor's shout
To their triumphant heaven's golden ringing brim
And welcome welcome welcome him
We but begin to hope to know, having known
The no-man's echo of your knowing voice;
We barely claim we have chosen,
Naming our choice.
To feast your coming it is you who must prepare;
Given your love we dare not not care;
Wherefore spare not spare us not
Do not spare.

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