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The Kingdom of Ordinary Time


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About 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.


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 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Howe is a careful and soulful alchemist. She makes metaphor matter and material metaphysical. She becomes magic with her transforming perspective that is part mother, part muscle, part music, part mind. This book has the amazing thing that Howe always seems to pull off: the miracle." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"In Marie Howe's new collection... we delve into the connection between regular life and the intensified life inspired by revelation." -- Washington Post Book World
"A lovely, clearheaded collection." -- Austin Chronicle
"An avid eye for the glint of gold." -- Booklist

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