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A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert: exciting New Age Renaissance
poetry from above/ground press

Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert

Author: Sarah Mangold

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 17

“Let me sail, let me sail,
let the orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach
On the shores of Tripoli.”
- from Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) by Enya

An exciting New Age Renaissance Chapbook from above/ground press. This is the third Chapbook by Sarah Mangold published by rob mclennan, the first two being Parlour (2012) and Cupcake Royale (2012). She has published 3 books of poetry and numerous Chapbooks winning prizes, residencies and financing from the Seattle Arts Commission. She lives in Seattle.

A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert, “the language in these poems is extensively borrowed, erased and glossed from A Theory of Cloud: Toward a History of Painting by Hubert Damisch, and Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson” states the liner notes at the end of the Chapbook. Reminds This Writer of the theme of the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, in the background is the main female character outside painting a landscape. However, in this long poem as she stands before her easel, thoughts tumble in truncated freefall. The language is stilted, discombobulated and it is as if the Poet is talking in walls that manifests a violence.

“Linear perspective has a history

Every kind of feeling     and affection

              thunder blasts & lightening

        devoted pronunciation              speak

and I shall baptize you

               Reveal      our spatial unease

                            adapt common frontiers     cloud

                                          projected               pictorial

                         bend boughs     reverse their leaves”

As if a type of DaDa, a nonsensical stringing of thought fragments, you get a glimpse of a thought that is dashed into the next non-linear thought, with the surreal nature and religious images it is as if she is speaking in tongues. It is almost child-like, a wise child painting a landscape with words, the capital letters like playing with children’s toy blocks.

“Let us dissect our feelings

Trees-How to understand them

Clouds-How they float

The Extraordinary and Bizarre

Painting from Memory”

Images buried within the freefall include the clouds, the sky, the forest, a tree, a rock, a mountain, angels, a unicorn and saints. A play on earth worship and the discovery of Holy Spirit tenets that recreate the society in the eye of the Creator, yet the mythical images woven in the violence of the offering (perhaps a reflection of the violence of the times) creates tension as if there is a colossal battle forming between the forces of good and evil. It is as if she is commenting on her “painting” including thoughts about painting, about the landscape, about the world, about society, as if she is going through what she knows and comparing it with what could be. She mentions “the system” and there is the idea of a Renaissance, a new reckoning of forces with a breath in reformation, an incredible lightness of being that imagines a dance with peace as the Spirit intended.

“Anticipate     imminent          revolution

            our exhalation     condensation     stripped          proof

                         veritable taboo        fill it with gold      thwart      horizontal

                 prepositional      scales like statements      drown outlines”

Brushing with Apocalypse Poetry, the ethereal essence cached in violence is an expression of experiential form, celestial, sings with angels. A fantastical New Age Renaissance read, A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert by Sarah Mangold from above/ground press.

Available at above/ground press.

Genre: Poetry, New Age, Women's Literature

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© 2016