"the soft clay crawled back to form my face"

8:52 AM Posted by James Owens

A review of Mary Karr's Sinners Welcome
in Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Maybe it is a sign of 21st century Americans’ supposed turn toward spirituality that recent books by important contemporary poets, such as Jorie Graham’s Overlord and Jack Gilbert’s Refusing Heaven, have included poems that take seriously the difficulties of praying, and of writing poems about praying. In a time when any public approach to the divine threatens to buckle under historical pressures ranging from the legacy of the world wars to psychoanalysts’ dissection of the self, such poems can seem an act of courage. Mary Karr’s Sinners Welcome grapples with these difficulties more directly than either Graham or Gilbert....



Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Interesting approach. I like your point about paryer as formalized speech. Good review, James.