24 oct. 2008


*Sarah Manguso. The Captain Lands in Paradise. 2002. 55 pp.

I read this in the KC airport as I was getting ready to fly back for the weekend. Now Sarah is better known for a memoir of her illness that's going to be much more widely reviewed than a book of mere poetry.

The book holds up fine on my second reading. A remarkable consistency of tone. "All bad poems are bad in the same way: imprecision." I'm wondering if that's true. Even if it's not, it's a good line.

3 comentarios:

Tom Beckett dijo...

"Consistency of tone." I wonder about that sort of observation, Jonathan, what it might mean. Could be a good thing. Could be a sign of dull affect. It's kind of like "a failure to maintain a sustained elevation of style" as an evaluative statement. I'm babbling, but I worry about these things a little.

Is consistency required for serious thought? Is consistency a requirement of style?

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

Maybe there are other ways, but it is the task of a poem to be precise.

Not just about anything, mind you, but about emotion. Just as the bad philosopher is imprecise about concepts. And if you have conceptual precision, it's difficult to be a bad philosopher.

So if you've written an emotionally precise text, I guess Tom might be saying, why worry about consistency?

Jonathan dijo...

In this case it is a good thing, I think. I'm not saying that categorically, but just about this particular book.