The Poet’s Occasional Alternative

Grace Paley
FSG Poetry Month / Daily Poem

#fsgpoetry

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
sadness 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’ is excerpted from Begin Again.

Chosen for FSG Poetry Month by Sarah Scire.

Born in the Bronx in 1922, Grace Paley was a renowned writer and activist. Her Collected Stories was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She died in Vermont on August 22, 2007.


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