May 29, 2008

Prayer by Marie Howe

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important /
calls for my attention -- the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage /

I need to buy for the trip. /
Even now I can hardly sit here /

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside /
already screeching and banging. /

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath. /
Why do I flee from you? /

My days and nights pour through me like complaints /
and become a story I forgot to tell. /

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning /
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

- Marie Howe, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, W.W. Norton & Co.

An anticipated new volume from Marie Howe whose “poetry is luminous, intense, eloquent, rooted in abundant inner life” (Stanley Kunitz).

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?

No comments: