Gone: Poems / Edition 1

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This collection of new poems by one of the most respected poets in the United States uses motifs of advance and recovery, doubt and conviction—in an emotional relation to the known world. Heralded as "one of our most vital, unclassifiable writers" by the Voice Literary Supplement, Fanny Howe has published more than twenty books and is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Poetry from the Commonwealth Club of California.
In addition, her Selected Poems received the 2001 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the Most Outstanding Book of Poetry Published in 2000 from the Academy of American Poets.

The poems in Gone describe the transit of a psyche, driven by uncertainty and by love, through various stations and experiences. This volume of short poems and one lyrical essay, all written in the last five years, is broken into five parts; and the longest of these, "The Passion," consecrates the contradictions between these two emotions. The New York Times Book Review said, "Howe has made a long-term project of trying to determine how we fit into God's world, and her aim is both true and marvelously free of sentimental piety." With Gone, readers will have the opportunity to experience firsthand Howe’s continuation of that elusive and fascinating endeavor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mixing serial poems with shorter work and spots of prose, poet and novelist Howe (Indivisible; One Crossed Out) combines skeptical clarity and a mindful, at times humor-tinged desire to locate the intersection of spiritual and physical presence in daily life: "A decent soul comes in red-rum colors/ It is a floating shadow/ Not water or air but something nearly solid/ A hint of cinnamon and bark/ And some people know how to circle their lips/ around a mouth and suck the soul away." Howe's speaker treats faith and doubt as aspects of unitary consciousness, often using imbalances of power as a frame for her explorations, as in "The history of the defeated": "Eternal life/ as if to prove/ the principal/ root of the verb/ to falsify/ is life/ itself an excess/ since whoever is/ identified/ is already buried/ while staying still/ will show what nothing is." A short essay-like prose piece on Simone Weil's writings confronts conversion on linguistic ground, as Howe, who in another poem writes "I hate therefore/ the word `prayer'/ since every word is one," questions the bait-and-switch of language as attached to the possibility of salvation: "You have to make yourself believe. Is this possible? Can you turn `void' into `God' by switching the words over and over again?" Howe's willingness to take on subject matter that many poets shy away from is handled with care, complexity and passionate clarity. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
One of our most honored poets-she claims the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize among her awards-Howe returns with a work as rich as it is unpredictable-and nicely pared to the essence. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520238107
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2003
  • Series: New California Poetry Series , #7
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,289,084
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Fanny Howe is Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and poetry, including
(2001), Selected Poems (California, 2000), and One Crossed Out (1998).

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Table of Contents

The Splinter 1
Doubt 21
The Descent 29
The Passion 47
Shadows 117
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