Sheila Sondik



Fishing a Familiar Pond: Found Poems from The Yearling

Fishing a Familiar Pond is a chapbook of 30 poems "found" by Sheila Sondik by cutting up and rearranging the text of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' classic novel, The Yearling. The poems are an extended meditation on the themes of the novel, including the loss of childhood innocence, our essential bond with the natural world, self-reliance, and the complexity of familial love.

Sondik wrote the poems while participating in The Found Poetry Review's Pulitzer Remix project in April 2013. She was one of 85 poets who posted poems gleaned from the text of Pulitzer Prize-winning novels on the project website.

Sheila Sondik's writing, as well as her artwork, is influenced by Japanese and Chinese art. Nine of the poems in the chapbook are tanka, a Japanese 5-line form. The covers and title pages reproduce two of her prints.

Fishing a Familiar Pond was published by Egress Studio Press in June 2013. Poet and book designer Anita K. Boyle designed it and hand-sewed the binding.

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Fishing a Familiar Pond

After fishing a familiar pond

A panther screamed
bull-bats shot low over their heads
they walked on in silence

Life in other places
Africa and Connecticut and China
was only a fantastic tale

The trail was dim
in the growing darkness - narrow
and hemmed in by briers

Soundless small creatures
darted across the sandiness
At home bread was waiting
(the sumac was in bloom)

the sumac was in bloom
colic root sent up tall stalks
of orchid-like flowers
he filled his buckets with water
and no one questioned his delay

©2016 Sheila Sondik. All rights reserved.