Miriam Sagan’s Comments

“Anna Z” was directly inspired by an exhibition of her work at the Museum of International Folk Art here in Santa Fe. I was fascinated by her mix of ordinary embroidery and peculiar vision—and the idea of outsider art. “Metaphysics” came out of a class I was team teaching on “beauty” where the visiting philosopher said and did what she does in the poem—this mixed with very vivid images I will always carry from my childhood in New Jersey—the destroyed Jersey Meadowlands. “Crows” is also based on a work of art and a comment—I seem to derive inspiration from this pairing. “Black Hat” is a bit of a personal or private poem in terms of its meaning—in that it is addressed to a friend I was worried about but draws its imagery from Hassidism and the mystical notion of soul groups who reincarnate together.