The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

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Hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, helping her own child down the playground slide, the speaker in these poems wonders: what is the difference between the self and the soul? The secular and the sacred? Where is the kingdom of heaven? And how does one live in Ordinary Time—during those periods that are not apparently miraculous?

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The Kingdom of Ordinary Time: Poems

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Overview

Hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, helping her own child down the playground slide, the speaker in these poems wonders: what is the difference between the self and the soul? The secular and the sacred? Where is the kingdom of heaven? And how does one live in Ordinary Time—during those periods that are not apparently miraculous?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Howe's new poetry collection shines with the heightened clarity that often accompanies great loss. The language is conversational, but it's a conversation that keeps going after the mind is tired, with startling insights, hints of danger, and uncharacteristic wit. In "Reading Ovid," for example, the classical poet becomes "a guy who knows how to tell a story about people who/ really don't believe in the Golden Rule," leading the speaker/wife "to fantasize saying to the man I married, 'You know/ that hamburger you just/ gobbled down with relish and mustard? It was your truck.'/ If only to watch understanding take his face/ like the swan-god took the girl." Howe's remarkable poems help us to grasp the nature of narrative itself, as a ritual offering and a way to stop time, or at least to try. In one called "Why the Novel Is Necessary but Sometimes Hard To Read," the speaker describes a common reading experience: "you have to learn the names-you have to suffer not knowing anything about anyone/ and slowly come to understand who each of them is, or who each of them imagines themselves to be." Highly recommended for university and public libraries.-Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393041996
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/11/2008
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marie Howe is the author of The Good Thief, What the Living Do, and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.

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