In A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert (above/ground press, March 2016), Sarah Mangold deals mainly with landscape: clouds, mountains, trees, and how these, though so different from state to state, country to country, render themselves similar in ways that help connect, particularly to each other but also to art, as in “:Originality Is a Working Assumption:” when she writes, “cloud a punctuation / mark torn apart by a miracle: extract saint from common space.” The saint here is birthed by the mark of something common (a cloud) but simultaneously extraordinary (the miracle).
Mangold’s universals are most often found in nature and the idea of it as a system. In “Speak and I shall baptize you,” the poem containing the line that is the chapbook’s title, she writes: “the history of the system is itself a system / rent in human space / liberated from all lawns.” These lines help lead a reader to the understanding that when we look at and try to understand the earth and its creatures—including humans—no matter our expertise, education, or career choice, we can only ever do so from our own present reality.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Kimberly Ann Southwick reviews Sarah Mangold's A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert (2016)
Kimberly Ann Southwick reviewed three recent chapbooks over at the Ploughshares blog, including Sarah Mangold's A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert (above/ground press, 2016), a chapbook still very much available. Thanks so much! This is the second review of Mangold's latest, after Greg Bem reviewed such over at Queen Mob's Teahouse. You can see Southwick's full review here.