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For a Divorce by Marie Ponsot Explicatory Essay

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The poetry of Marie Ponsot can be called lyric and passionate, enriching the soul and teaching people about the simple human values. The poem For a Divorce is a part of her new work Admit Impediment, which is a collection of her verses. The poem produces a very strong impression, with the author letting the reader come into the most intricate corners of her soul and participate in her speculations on why she actually married and what led the happy couple to the divorce. The opening paragraphs of the poem show how the author treats divorce and marriage:

Death is the price for life
Lives change places (Ponsot I, 1-2).

She clearly feels that her marriage was a life of hers, and the death of feelings is the divorce – the end to happiness, to mutual understanding, to being the two parts of the whole. However, the end of the poem indicates that Marie Ponsot is putting up with the reality of a divorce and treats it as something natural, giving life to a new stage of her own life path by the death of the previous one:

Deaths except for amoeba articulate
Life into lives, separate, named, new.
Not all sworn faith dies. Ours did (Ponsot VII, 1-3).

The regrets Marie Ponsot feels about being divorced are felt in the words by which she tries to comprehend her feelings about the loss. It is clearly a loss for Ponsot, and she perceives the divorce as a real endeavor requiring much effort and strength of will from the one enduring it:

How dear now undark appear the simple
Apparently simple wishes of the untried will;
How dark it is here and now suddenly too still (Ponsot II, 1-5).

Ponsot puts a certain portion of blame for the divorce on her ex-husband, seeing that he did not put any effort to save their marriage. It is evident from the description of Ponsot’s romantic endeavors to make their life in marriage bright, unusual, delicate and interesting. The husband did not support her efforts and did not try to play the roles that Ponsot offered to him:

…Even on my crystal sands even under my fragrant trees you were a pig (Ponsot IV, 5-7).

This quotation shows that the relationships between Ponsot and her husband, no matter how hard she tried, were far from romantic and intricate. It is dreadful for Ponsot to recollect that she was actually for such a state of affairs, and she blames herself in part for the ruinous end of their relationships by saying: “I a Circe stupefied who/ could not tell the master from the man” (Ponsot IV, 8-9).

She realizes that she was weak and could not influence the distribution of roles, power relationships and let her husband torture her in many ways. There are many descriptions of beasts and monsters in the poem, offering a colorful idea of what Ponsot was trying to compare the agony of their union to: “in myths gross beasts must wound; it is their work” (Ponsot V, 2-3); “a cruel kind of guide or Christ” (Ponsot V, 8-9) etc.

Nevertheless, no matter how much bitterness and regret, the romantic fleur of spiritual suffering and pursuit of finding the answer to the question ‘why’, there is surely the sentimental warmth about the foregone happiness and closeness Ponsot used to have with her husband.

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IvyPanda. (2019, April 15). For a Divorce by Marie Ponsot. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/for-a-divorce-by-marie-ponsot/

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1. IvyPanda. "For a Divorce by Marie Ponsot." April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/for-a-divorce-by-marie-ponsot/.


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IvyPanda. 2019. "For a Divorce by Marie Ponsot." April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/for-a-divorce-by-marie-ponsot/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'For a Divorce by Marie Ponsot'. 15 April.

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