Often likened to Emily Dickinson for her intertwining of the physical and spiritual, Howe, a poet who teaches at the University of California, San Diego, here collects poems drawn from nine of her earlier books.

In "Introduction to the World," Howe writes of having "spent my days/Escaping the creator," only to find that

Now I ache at the strange
Creations, mine, which like women
Look new in the Court of God.

She speaks of the fragility of worldly accomplishment:

But I, too, want..
To be freed of the need
to make a waste of money
when my passion,
first and last,
is for the ecstatic lash
of the poetic line

and no visible recompense

In "The Quietist," Howe leaps from sex to God and back again, and writing evocatively "When I taste 'God' I taste bread."

Readers who have followed Howe's career for years and those just discovering her will treasure this new selection of her finest work.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad