Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"The Captain Lands In Paradise"

UNM--This Friday Sarah Manguso will give a poetry reading at the Student Union Building in Acoma A & B. If you are at all interested in 21st century poetry you should be there. It will be unforgetable. Check out this example...complete with links.

What We Miss

Listen: http://www.writersalmanac.org/play/audio.php?media=/2003/06/30_wa&start=00:00:00:09.0&end=00:00:05:09.0
Sarah Manguso American (1974- )

Who says it's so easy to save a life? In the middle of an interview for
the job you might get you see the cat from the window of the
seventeenth floor just as he's crossing the street against traffic, just as
you're answering a question about your worst character flaw and lying
that you are too careful. What if you keep seeing the cat at every
moment you are unable to save him? Failure is more like this than like
duels and marathons. Everything can be saved, and bad timing pre-
vents it. Every minute, you are answering the question and looking
out the window of the church to see your one great love blinded by
the glare, crossing the street, alone.


mjh said...


Thanks for posting that one. I hadn't heard of Manguso until I saw the Lobo article (I was disappointed they didn't bother to post one of her poems -- http://www.dailylobo.com/news/851118.html?mkey=1290977). I did a little google and only found one poem, which I definitely did not like (http://www.octopusmagazine.com/issue04/html/features/poets/sarah_manguso.htm).

"I actually didn't decide to be a poet until I was 25," she said. "Before that I wanted to be a doctor. I took a poetry class and applied to poetry school. That was pretty much it."

How petty am I to want more ... *inspiration*(?) from a poet. peace, mjh

Anonymous said...

Dear MJH,

With all due respect to all involved, the biographical sketch you read about me was written by a UNM undergraduate.

Sarah Manguso

johnny_mango said...

I wondered where that seemingly "flip" comment came from. I think the actual facts related show a pretty typical journey of many a poet. There is a sort of calling that happens that you just can't ignore. I also thing that going from a study of medicine to poetry IS a story of inspiration...although it apparently was stated in the post in an off-hand way. Also, what is refered to in the post as "poetry school" was, in my student days, the most famous and prestigious MFA poetry program in the country. I know I couldn't get into it. But then I was so involved in my own program of existential investigation and accompanying self-medication that my grades prevented my from getting in any graduate school. And, of course, I hadn't gone to Harvard either.

But at the heart of mjh's comment is the unasked question: Is this poet got the cajones to be a poet? Or does she just play with words? My answer is that Sarah Manguso does indeed have the cajones, steeped in academia though they may be, to create the truth that we demand in such an honored position. Poetry is not for sissies. Neither is Sarah Manguso.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jon,

Thank you very much for your kind words.

Sarah Manguso