Poet of the Week-Marcelle Kasprowicz

Marcelle Kasprowicz was born in France in 1942.  Her work is influenced by her childhood there during WWII and its aftermath.  She received an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and taught for twenty-five years in the Austin Independent School District.  Marcelle writes in English and French.  She also translates her French poems into English. Many of her poems have been published in reviews, anthologies and on line.  She has been awarded several prizes. Her first book, Organza Skies: Poems from the Davis Mountains, was published in 2005 (ISBN 0-9776047-0-5).  Organza Skies, is available on Amazon.
Questions for Marcelle Kasprowicz

1. What inspires you as a poet?

In general, life experiences, memories, readings, especially poetry.
I was born in France in 1942 during the second world war and lived the aftermath of the war. Because of that, my greatest concern is violence in all its forms, wars, relationships, nature. I also feel a deep connection with children and the magic of childhood.

2. What advice do you have for other poets?

Writing poetry is not an activity that you can easily control. You may not have any ideas for days, weeks and then several in a few hours.
sometimes a poem calls another or others.
Do not be afraid to use ideas or words that pop into your head. You might not see an immediate connection with the poem you are working on yet, but sometimes they become the best part of the poem, open other avenues, expand meanings. . .
If you want to  improve your poetry you must read and write. You must also give yourself time to think. Stop moving and doing; just reflect. 

3.What prompted you to start writing poetry?

English is my second language and I never would have thought that I could write in English until I attended a writing workshop which showed me I could do it. Now I write in English and French both and I translate my own poetry. My second book has a section with French poems and their translations.

4. No particular journal
I like to check out new poetry books from the library.

5. How did you come up with the name of your book?

I wrote and published two books.
The first one," Organza Skies, Poems from the Davis Mountains" in 2005. The title was inspired by the West Texas skies which seem to crackle and shimmer( like the fabric) with stars on winter nights
The second one, is "Children Playing with Leopards" and is just off the press. The idea for the title came from a poem by Donald Justice in which he describes a mental patient's paintings. For me it pictures the magical connection between children and animals.

6. Do you have any advice you'd like to pass on about publishing a book?

If you are planning to have a book published, steel yourself for numerous rejections and be persistent.
Since I am 70 years old and do not want to spend the rest of my time and effort looking for a publisher, I publish my own books. Writing is what I enjoy and what I concentrate on.

7 Can you tell us a little about the poems you chose to present today?

I think all three of them represent my concerns but also my sense of the marvelous in the world.
The first one is about the brutality and senselessness of wars yet also about rebirth.
The second one, I think I have already discussed.
The third one represents extremes of violence which seem beyond our control.

Marcelle's new book:

Some of Marcelle's Poetry

Children Playing with Leopards

 ... children playing with leopards ...
(Donald Justice)

I swear
I saw children playing with leopards

I saw them in a game of tag
Heated children chasing leopards

I saw them play hide-and-seek
leopards hoisting the littlest ones
like cubs
hiding them in the leafy branches
of a tree

I saw a child and a leopard
sitting side by side on a low bench
sharing a book and a lollipop

I saw them play dress up
exchanging spots
just to see

I saw two
holding hands
the child rubbing a furry palm
marveling at the hidden claws

I saw the leopard
slowly withdrawing its paw
tickled by an incurable itch
confused by a sudden pounding
of its heart

The Ax

You despair

All your trees cut down
Lifetimes of love in the shade
Lives like seasons
stripped of their leaves
songbirds orphaned

You can't make yourself look at me
as I stand here ax in hand
covered in blood

It was not just the trees
I cut down

look at me
It was not in my hands

I only obeyed the ax


Green Grasses of Hiroshima


The ashes
haven't stopped raining
and if you slip your hand
under their stifling coat
you can feel their warmth

And the kimono flowers
tattooed in flesh
by the falling sun
haven't opened their gaping mouths


How dare you
so thick
so green
invade the dying city
when its people's midnight hair
by the handful

Oh, wait
wait until the first crocuses
which bloomed and bled
under the skin
start to fade

Order the book below!

You may also reach Marcelle to order a book at

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Anonymous said...

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Poet on Poetry said...

Thank you. I did not hire a designer, Blogger makes it easy and I have attended a lot of Blog chats to get ideas and information. Thanks for letting me know you like the site!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving those who enjoy poetry another venue. It's a forgotten art!

Poet on Poetry said...

You are very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you like the blog. I do hope you Follow it, if you are not already. You might also enjoy my post on the Facebook page. I post poetry news, contests, etc on FB.

Anonymous said...

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