Manchester native Sarah Beckmann’s Naiad Blood is a first collection of poems, published this month by Fishing Line Press. It’s described as a “vibrant formal intelligence at once various in its embodiments and dexterous at every turn. With near mythic urgency, these poems evoke the pulse and discipline—the adrenaline-fueled duende—of the rower’s life on water.” Wow.
Beckmann is a lovely poet. And her poetry—at least for now—is a wonderful sideline. Her day job takes her to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, where she is a communications assistant. Beckmann is currently working on a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, for poetry.
A Life through Boats, I
To the Mary Ellen, Cape Henlopen, John H., and Susan Anne
Your jaw opens and gives us entry
to your steel bowels. Our car nestles
between your ribs, tight, sometimes
a real squeeze—but you never fail
to consume us all, and our wheels.
You let out a long,
reverberating honk, and we watch
as, on both sides, land slowly slides away.
Beneath our feet, the deep vibration of your
well-conditioned heart, the new constant.
You pump us into sea,
past Plum Island, into the Gut, around
the Orient Point Lighthouse—Grammy’s
Lighthouse, black, white,
and regal as a coffee pot.
You have carried me back and forth
between two homes since my body
was new, your pulse as familiar
as my mother’s heartbeat,
your buoyant rocking
safe as her womb.