Miriam Sagan


Inadvertent Altar


48 pages

5 1/2 x 8 inches

ISBN: 1-888809-28-0



Miriam Sagan’s poetry is forced by urgency; memory and awareness rise to the surface in gasps, fragments, and fleeting observations. Affirmations are reached with difficulty—grudging, yes, but true to the times . . .The poems observe passing moments in passionate detail without trying to explain them or make sense of them. The poems know that much is beyond explanation; they recognize that only the individual can find coherence, and even then only briefly, in the flux of events, and never with absolute certainty. But to feel the impact of the passing moments, that is another matter: to be truly alive is to sense to the depths of one’s being the impact of what we call “ordinary,” whether joyous or painful, or whatever comes in-between. There are moments in Miriam Sagan’s poems approaching despair and yet there remains always the possibility of ecstatic illumination, even in—or perhaps, especially in—the most common observations.

— R.W. French