poem index

Poem-A-Day

Through Poem-a-Day, we present original, previously unpublished poems by our country's most talented poets throughout the week and classic poems on the weekends. 

learn more

Ponderable

About this Poem 

“‘Ponderable’ is an elegy from my collection titled The Unfollowing, forthcoming from Omnidawn in 2016. Noticing that it is a poem of fourteen lines, readers might speculate that it is a sonnet, but a proper sonnet is structured to facilitate logical thinking and that is precisely what is precluded when one is confronted by death: there is no coming to terms with it.”
Lyn Hejinian

Ponderable

Lyn Hejinian, 1941

The pine branches reach—the rain! the sun! the edge of the
        moving air! three goats!
Girls on razor scooters turn the corner and scoot
Autonomy actually shows, it shines amidst the stars of decision
I sacrifice hearing to writing, I return to the back of the train
Surrounded by nothing but tattered island nasturtia, the
        shoveler is prepared to exclaim, “Grief exterior, grief
        prison”
Beastly pine cones are falling from the sky
Down in the middle, and a soft wall, the midnight breeze
        billows
Check the role, the rock, the rule!
From cardboard pressed to ginger, water spilled on a list, salt
        sprinkled over…
Why so many references to dogs, purple, and bananas?
Then the carnival—it came up afterwards like a vermillion
        buttress to say of itself “it appears”
Wren in a ragged bee line, flora sleeping live
Yuki, Felicia, and Maxwell have between them $13.75, and they
        are hungry as they enter the small café, where they see a
        display of pies and decide to spend all their money on pie
        there and then—how much pie will each get to eat if
        each pie costs $5.25?
Invincible is my myopia, great is my waist, choral are my ideas,
        wingéd are my eyebrows, deep is my obscurity—who am I?

© 2015 Lyn Hejinian. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 31, 2015 by the Academy of American Poets.

© 2015 Lyn Hejinian. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 31, 2015 by the Academy of American Poets.