The Book of Hours

The Book of Hours Marianne Boruch s work has the wonderful commanding power of true attention The Washington Post H er patience her willingness to wait for the film of familiarity to slip allows her to see what is t

  • Title: The Book of Hours
  • Author: Marianne Boruch
  • ISBN: 9781556593857
  • Page: 208
  • Format: Paperback
  • Marianne Boruch s work has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention The Washington Post H er patience, her willingness to wait for the film of familiarity to slip, allows her to see what is there with a jeweler s sense of facet and flaw Poetry magazineEndearingly strange, unsentimental, and uniquely structured, in true Rilkean fashion The Book of Hours quest Marianne Boruch s work has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention The Washington Post H er patience, her willingness to wait for the film of familiarity to slip, allows her to see what is there with a jeweler s sense of facet and flaw Poetry magazineEndearingly strange, unsentimental, and uniquely structured, in true Rilkean fashion The Book of Hours questions the meaning and significance of everything from the flaws of human interaction to perfect posture Unrelenting honesty and exacting description are coupled with the trials of a dying mother, saint shadows, birds, and shit drying to chalk My mother s body to wires, to tubesand their liquid, days she turned toward meor away, winter but so much sunfrom car to door I followed it past nursesat their station talking movies, who s goodin one and not the other Gown tiedat the back and neck, she slept besidea window I wedged my chair there, reading,looking up, reading, who knows whatI read her legs bruised, thin, arms batteredby the doctor s needle Her face Can Isay this plainly now There was lightas she grew less She drifted to it.I m not hungry, not religious, I m in a spot,she told me one afternoon thenclosed her eyes to that radiance again.Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago and earned a masters degree from the University of Massachusetts She teaches at Purdue University and at Warren Wilson College She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.

    One thought on “The Book of Hours”

    1. These poems are compact and high-def, full of punch, moving, deeply alive. I now want to go back and read all the early work. An extraordinary writer.

    2. Favorites: "Is this a mantra? a mantra of," "A shadow. And the bird feigns a broken wing," "My mother's body to wires, to tubes," "I'll give you a body that won't die," "In the hospital parking lot," "So big deal, so you find it sort of," "One gets tired, middle of the day," "Those visits home, the way the young," "All this water, what to do with it," and "You say turn off the jets"

    3. Often, the images are very obviously forced, and in fact transparent to the point of revealing a painful attempt at mimicking the Hughes-like enlightened natural observer, making weak stabs at uniting unlikely images in a way that has been done several times before already, and done in much better ways.

    4. Most of this left me untouched. I wouldn't bother with more of her work, based on this experience. I did get excited about the artist whose work is featured on the cover: Larry Thomas. A few snippets that made an impression:earth and heaven taken down a notch, to dirt and skyShe liked words wet or darkthe way we borrow something and forget the kindness, the loss at the other end

    5. Read more than once!The poems in this book are very calming and beautifully written, which is why I gave it a five-star rating. However, I did not understand most of the poems on the first read, and neither will you. This gives the book a high amount of return-to-read value, and for that reason also, I gave the book five stars.

    6. I love this book. Love that every poem is composed of four quatrains, love that the titles of the poems are their first lines. I love that, even though this book is different from Boruch's other books (every book of hers is different), her voice still shines through.

    7. Marianne is a former teacher of mine and I've always enjoyed and admired her work. This book didn't work as well for me, at this point in my life. Some lovely moments and a well conceived collection.

    8. "It's love, isn't it? To practice, oh practice / like the simplest zealot practices doom." Ending from a poem in this book that starts in a lifesaving class.

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