Friday, February 05, 2010

Siste Viator by Sarah Manguso

I hated the first poem in this collection: "Nothing." I don't like poems that are overly vague, and I thought I was going to have to trudge through a whole book of air. The beginning of this book was rough, but the poems got much better.

I didn't like the longer poems in the book, they were sort of rambling and I kept losing focus when I read them. The shorter poems were better. They were still a bit abstract, but they are full of images and humor.

I didn't understand Manguso's line and stanza breaks in the longer poems, the lines are very long, and it seems like they break in random spots. The shorter ones were either one stanza, or if there were stanza breaks, they were more organized.

The titles were either one word like "Nothing" or "Burning," or they were interesting titles like "The Only Thing to Pray for is Fire."

Although I felt like I was being pulled back and forth between things I liked and disliked, it was an enjoyable read, overall. The majority were great poems. Siste Viator made a bad first impression and spent the whole book trying to win me over (it did).

My favorite poems in the book:

Address to an Absent Lover

Jupiter Has 61 Moons


Hand Model


At 9:56 AM, Blogger beth coyote said...

Yes, strange line breaks. I know what my poetry group would say!


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