Kent's Reviews > What the Living Do: Poems

What the Living Do by Marie Howe
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's review
Apr 11, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary-poetry, poetry-1990s

I am fascinated by the way this method of elegy, I'll call it the lyric narrative, where snapshots accumulate to give us the long drawn out pathos central to this book, is so incredibly moving. I read Rankine's The End of the Alphabet around the same time, and I remember thinking to myself how each one uses its own style to push towards an honesty that can most accurately describe what it was like for the speaker to live through trauma. Howe uses a chronology, remarking on specific and resonant moments to make us understand the much larger concern.

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