Ars Poetica X (unreportable sadnesses)

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative

I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead      it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft      a poem would have had some
distance to go      days and weeks and
much crumpled paper

the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor

everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it      many friends
will say      why in the world did you
make only one

this does not happen with poems

because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership      I do not
want to wait a week      a year      a generation for the right
consumer to come along



“The Poet’s Occasional Alternative” by Grace Paley from Begin Again

Grace Paley (December 11, 1922–August 22, 2007), poet, short story writer, educator, and activist .
Although Paley herself never graduated from college, she went on to become one of the most beloved and influential teachers of writing — both formally, through her professorships at Sarah Lawrence, Columbia, Syracuse University, and City College of New York, and informally, through her insightful lectures, interviews, essays, and reviews.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. This train of thought resonates with me. There are always choises to make. Great poem!

    1. Sigrun says:

      I really like it that she founds her art in her everyday life, and that she manages to speak about the difficulty of making art while actually doing it – .

      1. It is enjoyble to find parallels and contradictions in this world 🙂

  2. V says:

    this made me smile

  3. It really can be hard, waiting for the right consumer to come along…
    Love Paley. So right there in the real world.

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