POETRY: Sarah Beckmann


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.

(Sarah Beckmann)


fishing line press, the man outside, beckmann, massachusetts institute of technology’s media lab, sarah beckmann