It’s back! Poetry Wednesday – Catherine Bowman

I’ve decided to bring Poetry Wednesday back.  It went on a little hiatus because I wasn’t getting a lot of comments on the posts, but then I decided that was a silly reason to stop doing a post I loved.  So here it is again, and we’ll start off with Catherine Bowman, a poet from El  Paso, Texas.  I wasn’t originally sure how I felt about this poem, but the ending pretty much made me love it.  I had to look up stet:

Stet is a Latin word (meaning “let it stand”) used by proofreaders and editors to instruct the typesetter or writer to disregard a change the editor or proofreader had previously marked. (Wikipedia)

Now with that in mind, here’s the rest of the poem.


When he procured her, she purveyed
him. When he rationed her out,
she made him provisional. On being

provisional, he made her his trough.
On being a trough, she made him her silo.
At once a silo, he made her his cut. On being a cut,

she made him her utensil. On being
a utensil, he turned her downhill. So being
downhill, she made him her skis.

When she was his stethoscope,
he was her steady beat. From beat
she was dog, from dog he was fetch,

from fetch she was jab, from jab
he was fake. When he was her complex
equation, she was his simple math.

So she turned him into strong evidence,
accessory after the fact. So he turned
her eyes private, made her his man

on the lam. So he became her psalm,
so she became his scrubby tract. When he
became an aesthete, she became his

claw-foot bath. So she made him a rudimentary
fault line; so he made her a volcanic rim.
So she made him her unruly quorum;

so he made her his party whip.
That’s when they both became
mirror, and then both became lips.

From lips she was trumpet, from trumpet
he was mute. Then he made her his margin
of error. Then she made him stet.


What do you think of this poem?  What was your favorite line or stanza?


3 thoughts on “It’s back! Poetry Wednesday – Catherine Bowman

  1. I really like the use of enjambment in this poem to make ideas carry from one stanza to the next. I really enjoyed this section: From beat
    she was dog, from dog he was fetch,

    from fetch she was jab, from jab
    he was fake. When he was her complex
    equation, she was his simple math.

    I’m not sure, probably because of the math bit.

    I’m glad you’ve brought this back. I don’t get a lot of comments on some of my specialty posts like awesome essays and children’s book Thursday so I totally understand how you feel. It’s frustrating when you put work into a great idea and people don’t respond to it, I’m not sure why readers don’t comment on these types of posts. It’s unfortunate because those are the kinds of posts that make a blog unique, yet they seem to get less attention. If you enjoy it then I’m glad you’re still doing it.

    1. I really needed this comment, thanks. After posting the poem and then getting no comments all day, it sort of reinforced what I said and then I felt… even worse haha. But this comment made it worth it! And even if I never get another comment on another Poetry Wednesday, I’ll still keep doing it.

  2. I’m glad you brought this back. Thank you for introducing me to Catherine Bowman! Such a clever poem, and I liked the final stanza best, probably because from trumpet she made him mute. Amen.

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