Supernatural Love Criticism

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When “Supernatural Love” was first published in The Lamplit Answer, Rosetta Cohen, reviewing the book for The Nation, picked it out for appreciative comment: “Through the rigid symmetries of the tercets, Schnackenberg conflates the love of parent with the love of Christ, and the simplest actions—the child embroidering, the father searching out the Latin root of a word—become transcendent by way of the child's sudden, tiny self-inflicted wound.” Since publication, the poem has often been reprinted in poetry anthologies and has been posted and discussed on various Internet poetry forums. When it was included in the selection of Schnackenberg's poems published under the title Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992, it attracted more favorable comment from reviewers. In Poetry, Christian Wiman declares it to be finest poem in the book and places it with some of Schnackenberg's other poems of the period as “a substantial and rare accomplishment...

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