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Siste Viator

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This book is for those of us who want to read more poetry but are frequently stopped by its--what is it? Its chilly self-seriousness? Its unwillingness to hold our hand every so often, while cracking an easy joke? Either way, Sarah Manguso, like her spiritual siblings David Berman and Tony Hoagland, is a friendly kind of savior and guide. Her writing is gorgeous and cerebr ...more
Paperback, 63 pages
Published April 30th 2006 by Four Way Books (first published March 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 20, 2007 Jenna rated it liked it
If Manguso were a comedienne, her stand-up act would consist of a loosely tied-together series of witty one-liners that aspire to pithy profundity and sometimes achieve it. Some of her more successful attempts at coining Zen-like adages include: "My back is marked with my blood but I can't see it./In this way a greater perspective is alluded to."; "Most people would rather convince themselves of being in love than of being happy"; "Bootleggers and pirates...want to put their cocks in the diction ...more
Andrew Maxwell
Dec 02, 2007 Andrew Maxwell rated it liked it
This book struck me as more quickly written and less considered than her first book, which I thought excellent. There are some terrific phrases and surprising turns, but many poems feel freighted with imposing themes and religious postures imbedded in smallish improvisations. Manguso's still very much a poet to read, and I might have a change of mind on further revisitation of this one, but my enthusiasm ebbed midway through on first read.
Vincent Scarpa
Dec 04, 2014 Vincent Scarpa rated it it was amazing
I love this collection so much. Manguso is a wizard, I'm convinced. These poems are brutal, tender, blunt, aching, wet, heavy things. They are wounds and stitches both. Favorites in this collection include the unbelievably good "Hell," as well as: "Address to an Absent Lover," "Address From One Place to Another," "Things I Have Learned," "A Final Poem," "The Movement of a Caravan over the Landscape," "The Trick is Not Minding," "Friend," "A Glittering," and the haunting endpoem, "Oblivion Speaks ...more
Apr 04, 2008 Fred rated it it was amazing
this book gave me creepy feelings. that's a good thing. disarmingly straightforward. I'm jealous.
Feb 05, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, female-writer
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 b
Oct 14, 2007 Julian rated it really liked it
These are incredibly confident poems. Though the syntax and music fall just a bit short sometimes, they do so to make very distinct rhetorical points. I look forward to seeing more from her. Also very happy to see Four Way Books putting out such excellent material (read Deborah Bernhardt's Echolalia asap!).
Aug 05, 2007 Kristin rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry

Good, but it didn't compare to her first book--for many reasons. Most notably: it is just a different project. But I was disappointed because I came to expect something similar to The Captain Lands in Paradise.

If someone else had written this, I probably would have liked it better. Hard to tell.
Apr 15, 2008 Mia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"The light was shooting out of my eyes again.
I had a tattoo on my wrist, it was cool,
It meant I was all powerful.
My name terrified me, I whispered it.
Every metaphor was the one about drugs.
SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA! nothing was safe from that metaphor..."
Amy  Dickinson
Jul 16, 2007 Amy Dickinson rated it it was amazing
I just can't bring myself to apply a star ranking to a book of poetry. It feels weird. This should maybe make me rethink starring the rest of the books I read but, well, I just kind of like it.
Maureen Thorson
Jul 10, 2008 Maureen Thorson rated it really liked it
These poems are intriguingly unbalanced; the language is smooth and polished, but the emotional cracks in the pottery are showing. The seams are tactile and rough.
Feb 23, 2013 Erica added it
One of my favorite lines from this collection, from "Nature":

"My hand is waving as I walk through the beautiful / Nature place."
May 01, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, expansive. Contains more than the sum of its parts.
Aug 23, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
There is a strong, vibrant, often funny voice here.
Jul 06, 2008 dana rated it did not like it
bummer. i liked her first book SO much more...

Tasha Cotter
Mar 17, 2009 Tasha Cotter rated it it was amazing
Another great collection.
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Sarah Manguso (b. 1974) is an American writer and poet. In 2007, she was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellowship in literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was reviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and named a 2008 "Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Her poems and prose have appeared in The
More about Sarah Manguso...

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“I don’t know how I stay alive. What I do know is that there is a light, far above us, that goes out when we die,

and that in Hell there is a gray tulip that grows without any sun. It reminds me of everything I failed at,

and I water it carefully. It is all I have to remind me of you.”
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