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September 2, 2010The Arsenal Building, Central ParkNew York, NYFrom the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Monica Youn is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016). She teaches at Princeton University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and lives in Manhattan.

The Death of Ignatz (audio only)

 

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Monica Youn

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016). She teaches at Princeton University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and lives in Manhattan.

by this poet

poem
It was hardly a high-tech operation, stealing The Scream.
That we know for certain, and what was left behind--
a store-bought ladder, a broken window,
and fifty-one seconds of videotape, abstract as an overture.

And the rest? We don't know. But we can envision
moonlight coming in through the broken
poem

                     Lamentation (Martha Graham, 1930)

                     What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort                                 you, virgin daughter of Zion? Lamentations 2:13

 

Wordless, ceaseless,
a second, seamless skin,
this blue refrain

2
poem

To section off
is to intensify,

to deaden.
Some surfaces

cannot be salvaged.
Leave them

to lose function,
to persist only

as armature,
holding in place

those radiant
squares

of sensation—
the body a dichotomy