Poem introduction

This next poem is a villanelle but in tetrameter rather than the usual pentameter.

Complaint for Absolute Divorce

A little something to endorse:
Download attachment, print and sign
Complaint for Absolute Divorce,

the lawyer wrote with casual force.
Yet why complain? The suit was mine.
A little something to endorse

“Complaint”: sheer poetry, of course,
more lofty than Lament or Whine.
Complaint for Absolute Divorce:

so well-phrased, who could feel remorse?
That “Absolute” was rather fine.
A little something to endorse

the universe as is: for worse,
for better. Nothing by design.
Complaint for Absolute Divorce,

let me salute you, sole recourse!
I put my birth-name on the line –
a little something – and endorse
the final word, then, in “Divorce.”


from Nothing by Design (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), © Mary Jo Salter 2013, used by permission of the author

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Mary Jo Salter Downloads

1Welcome to Hiroshima

£0.89

2The Rebirth of Venus

£0.89

3Unfinished Painting

£0.89

4Summer 1983

£0.89

5Boulevard du Montparnasse

£0.89

6Young Girl Peeling Apples

£0.89

7Lullaby for a Daughter

No preview avaialable.£0.89

8Lament

£0.89

9Wreckage

£0.89

10A Rainbow over the Seine

£0.89

11Libretto

£0.89

12Absolute September

£0.89

13Trompe l'Oeil

£0.89

14Erasers

£0.89

15A Morris Dance

£0.89

16A Phone Call to the Future

£0.89

17Wake-Up Call

£0.89

18The Gods

£0.89

19Goodbye, Train

£0.89

20It's Hard to Say

£0.89

21No Second Try

£0.89

22String of Pearls

£0.89

23Complaint for Absolute Divorce

£0.89

24Bed of Letters

£0.89

25Lost Originals

£0.89

26Bratislava

£0.89

27Little Men

£0.89

28Little Star, 2015

£0.89

28Smoking the Dead Sea Scrolls

£0.89

Books by Mary Jo Salter