Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Interrogation of the Hanged Man

What is your face?
          A house, of sorts.

What is your foot?
          A chipped stone blade.

What did you dream?
          A rain-washed road.

What did it mean?
          It meant nothing.

What have you learned?
          The sky forgives.

What does it forgive?
          Each jet its wake.

What do you want?
          A smile, of sorts.

No, what do you want?
          I want nothing.

What’s in your hand?
          A leafless twig.

No. Show me. What’s that in your hand?

Credit


Monica Youn, “Interrogation of the Hanged Man," from Blackacre. Copyright © 2016 by Monica Youn. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org.

Author


Monica Youn

Monica Youn grew up in Houston, Texas. She received a BA from Princeton University, a JD from Yale Law School, and an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Youn is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award in poetry; and Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003).

Of Blackacre, Robin Coste Lewis writes, “Youn transforms English itself, a vast landscape of repressed histories, into a seemingly black acre, too, an unexplored site, where suddenly the fraught relationships between the body, time, and history are stunningly articulated simultaneously.”

Youn is the recipient of the Levinson Prize, as well as fellowships from the Library of Congress, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and Stanford University, among others. She is also known for her work as a lawyer specializing in election law, and was the guest editor for Poem-a-Day in May 2020. She is an associate professor at UC Irvine, is a member of the Racial Imaginary Institute, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Bibliography

Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016)
Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010)
Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003)

Date Published: 2016-09-27

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/interrogation-hanged-man