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Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Apr 10, Peycho Kanev rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. Fifty The soul has a story that has a shape that almost no one sees. No, no one ever does. All those kisses, The bedroom chair that rocked with me in it, his body his body and his and his and his. More, I said, more and more and more.
What has it come to? Like dresses I tried on and dropped to the floor. Oct 19, Twila Newey rated it really liked it. We need more poetry, all of us. Buy this little book. My Mother's Body Bless my mother's body, the first song of her beating heart and her breathing, her voice, which I could dimly hear, grew louder. From inside her body I heard almost every word she said. Within that girl I drove to the store and back, her feet pressing the pedals of the blue-car, her voice, first gate to the cold sunny mornings, rain, moonlight, snow fall, dogs Her kidneys failed, the womb where I once lived is gone.
Her young astonished body pushed me down that long corridor, and my body hurt her, I know that years old. I'm old enough to be that girls mother, to smooth her hair, to look into her exultant frightened eyes, her bedsheets stained with chocolate, her heart in constant failure. It's a girl, someone must have said. She must have kissed me with her mouth, first grief, first air, and soon I was drinking her, first food, I was eating my mother, slumped in her wheelchair, one of my brothers pushing it, across the snowy lawn, her eyes fixed, her face averted.
Bless this body she made, my long legs, her long arms and fingers, our voice in my throat speaking to you now. Apr 20, Jsavett1 rated it it was amazing. This was the first collection of Howe's that I've read and she's immediately leapt onto my list of favorite poets. Errands are holy, caring for her ailing mother is communion, and h This was the first collection of Howe's that I've read and she's immediately leapt onto my list of favorite poets.
Errands are holy, caring for her ailing mother is communion, and having the same conversation with her daughter after school every day is prayer. I learned a lot as a poet from reading Howe. She expertly uses the concrete image to BECOME the emergent meaning of the poem, rather than ending where it seemed she was headed in he first line.
If I have any critique here, it is that many of Howe's poems follow a similar formexpository or introductory image, exploration of that image, and then the introduction of a SEEMINGLY unrelated second concrete image which sheds light through juxtaposition on the first. Again, this is both a strength a minor weakness.
There is a certain intuitive rhythm Howe establishes in repeating this format. Needless to say, I immediately ordered the rest of Howe's books as soon as I finished reading this one. Sep 01, Kate Savage rated it really liked it.
Marie Howe is such a talented poet, and all the same I guess I itch at the lulling of white-christian-hetero poetry. I'm a horrible reader for it: she mentions being at a park with her daughter and I instantly shut off. But I connected at moments when Howe allows for something rougher to peek through, like in the poem "Non-violence.
And ends: I want to tell you everyt Marie Howe is such a talented poet, and all the same I guess I itch at the lulling of white-christian-hetero poetry. And ends: I want to tell you everything I know about being alive but I missed a lot of living that way -- My life was a story, dry as pages.
Jun 12, Heather rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone with half a brain and half a heart. Shelves: favorites , poetry. Marie Howe is the single most amazing contemporary poet working today. I say that with the assertion that only the most uneducated can have. I say that because I don't know enough, I only know that it is true. Did I love this as much as "What the "My life was a story, dry as pages. Did I love this as much as "What the Living Do? And almost is good enough in love and poetry. Read this book. Read What the Living Do. Think about the things that matter in life in a non-Oprah-book way, in a not live-your-best-life, but in a living-your-life I don't know what I'm saying.
Jul 25, Mia rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. Another book that I came to through browsing actual books on actual shelves. I wouldn't have picked up Marie Howe but--hey! And she made me cry in the bathtub and that's usually a good thing and it was. May 26, Miranda Lukeman rated it it was amazing. Really substantial and magically colloquial--I eased into these poems thinking thinking I had read this stuff before, many times over. But it's one of the few poetry books I've ended up reading straight through.
It's all in the title. It's there--you'll find it. Feb 17, Jamie Cattanach rated it liked it. Three and a half stars? But worth the price of purchase for "Hurry" which, if not subtle, made me cry for like a full five minutes. View 2 comments. Dec 02, Bekah Puddington rated it really liked it. This is the first I've read of her; makes me eager to check out "What the Living Do" soon, too.
Nov 01, Dorianne Laux rated it it was amazing. As always. More when I'm done. View all 4 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dec 30, Dan Gobble rated it really liked it Shelves: owned-books , poetry. I immediately went to my local bookstore, the Literary Bookpost, and bought a copy of the only Marie Howe book of poems they had on their shelves, "The Kingdom of Ordinary Time".
I read these poems virtually non-stop, cover-to-cover, in one sitting and I've returned to them again and again.
Howe's images have stuck with me. I look forward to reading more of her poetry in the future, especially the book of poems which deal with the death of her brother.
Some of my favorite lines from the poems in this collection include: From "The World": "The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words. He says that he believes a person can love someone and still be able to murder that person. I say, No, that's not love. That's attachment. Michael says, No, that's love. You can love someone, then come to a day when you're forced to think "it's him or me" think "me" and kill him. I say, Then it's not love anymore. Michael says, It was love up to then though.
I say, Maybe we mean different things by the same word. Michael says, Humans are complicated: love can exist even in the murderous heart. I say that what he might mean by love is desire. Love is not a feeling, I say. And Michael says, Then what is it? We're walking along West 16th Street - a clear unclouded night - and I hear my voice repeating what I used to say to my husband: Love is action, I used to say to him. What happens next? From the poem "Government": But the next day, negotiating the too narrow aisles of The Health and Harmony Food Store - when I say, Excuse me, to the woman and her cart of organic chicken and green grapes she pulls the cart not quite far back enough for me to pass, and a small mob in me begins picking up the fruit to throw.
So many kingdoms, and in each kingdom, so many people: the disinherited son, the corrupt counselor, the courtesan, the fool. From one of Howe's "Mary" poems titled "Annunciation": Even if I don't see it again - nor ever feel it I know it is - and that if once it hailed me it ever does - And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction not as towards a place, but it was a tilting within myself, as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where it isn't - I was blinded like that - and swam in what shone at me only able to endure it by being no one and so specifically myself I thought I'd die from being loved like that.
This collection probes at the questions and mysteries surrounding what makes us who we are. Apr 27, Rick rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. Something beautiful, something threatening. Shallow underwater stones gleam underwater.
Jun 04, Joan rated it it was amazing Shelves: book-club-reads. I am not ordinarily a poetry person. But I fell in love with Marie Howe's work. Our book club read "The Kingdom of Ordinary Time". It was a discovery for me. Her poetry is made of ordinary life events This is what brought it home to me personally For book club purposes, we each picked out and read aloud our favorite poem.
Poetry, I think, needs to be spoken. It was marvelous! It helped that many of Howe's ideas matched mine. Which is his prerogative — and maybe I would have some of the same feelings if I were to live there — but not what I want to read. I visited two other countries via books in October: France and Iran. One regime after another has made modern Iran hell for at least some of the people, all of the time. Bijan is a chef who knew growing up that cooking was her passion.
Her parents, a doctor and a nurse who were both larger than life characters who worked tirelessly to help their patients, had to flee Iran at the time of the Revolution. She cooked for Bono and his wife when they visited her San Francisco with their baby many years ago. How cool is that? This book quietly grew on me. Even a statue in his study weighs in, along with his favorite cat. Each chapter brings readers closer to discovering what Athens is trying to recall, of understanding his ego and the path of emotional destruction he has left in the wake of his hedonistic life.
I will say Barbery gives the man a way with words. In other words, he tells the truth or his perception of it and tells it slant.
This twist on The Scarlet Letter is set in a dystopian future America where conservative religious leaders have taken power in the wake of terror attacks and a rampant STD scourge that has left many women barren. The book reads like a thriller, in which Hannah and a friend she meets in prison are rescued from a cultish religious vigilante group by another cultish group who run a sort of Underground Railroad to spirit women like them to Canada.
Jordan makes it more emotionally complicated than straight up good versus evil though, as Hannah grows out of her sheltered upbringing into a thinking, questioning adult. This is a small quibble though, and may be my own perspective. Jordan addresses important questions of personal conduct and public approbation, and the danger of dominant culture or even the government in expressing public sentiment. She also champions critical thinking and individual actions, and examines how morality and belief can morph into extremism, especially when people are scared, uneducated, or both.
Collecting personal statements of belief for public reading, listening, and discussion, is the fascinating work of This I Believe. First year students at Rivier read this book as part of their entry into college life, and the college Writing and Resource Center is co-sponsoring the event. I love the idea of a community read that has a writing component. I tried reading some of the essays aloud, but the Computer Scientist pointed out they are much better heard in the voices of the people who wrote them.
You can listen or read on the website, or subscribe to the podcast.
Some of the beliefs are easy to understand, others are not. Some contradict each other. I made a list of favorites from this volume; I hope to re-read them and think about why those ideas resonated with me. Williams told the audience that beauty and the ravages of time were much on the minds of Elizabethans, but that even as we live longer today, beauty can serve the same purposes: to perpetuate love, and to help us deal evil.
She writes with searing beauty, she writes of horrible things; these are not mutually exclusive. I heard Howe on Fresh Air , where she addressed writing about grief and loss, and checked for her work at the library that night. Have you ever even tried to imagine this? A poetry professor at Rivier had the library staff pull a variety of poetry books to keep handy on a cart for students.
Williams discuss sonnets and I was hungry for more poetry. So I browsed the cart. Ever have that kind of reaction to an author?