Christina Pugh

Imagined Corners
January 15, 2012 Pugh Christina

Imagined Corners


At the corner where the transept cuts the nave,

bird’s-eye architecture mirrors the still cross-

section of a cross; and who’s to say it wouldn’t

look that way, if dissected—row upon row

of sitting, sitting, then rising or kneeling

in the litany’s slender choreographies?

They also serve who only stand and wait, Milton

cautioned from the dark.  My watch has

stopped at eternal ten past nine, and I’m

thinking again of a woman with lupus, another

with MS: two letters tattoo an anatomy’s

watch-springs.  And then there’s the transverse

cut of the ovary: botanical eggs that dilate in glass,

as the model tibouchina, glory-bush, perhaps:

the cinquefoil glitters its five white polyps,

or some see a waving skull on a stem.

Christina Pugh’s fifth book of poems, Stardust Media (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020), was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry. She is also the author of four previous books of poems, including Perception (Four Way Books, 2017), which was named one of the best poetry books of 2017 by Chicago Review of Books; and Grains of the Voice (Northwestern University Press, 2013).  Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Yale Review, and many other publications. She has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in poetry, as well as fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Illinois Arts Council, the Bogliasco Foundation, and others.  She is Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago