What Belongs to Us Criticism

Marie Howe
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Because Howe has authored only two collections of poems, there has been little criticism written about her work. The cover of Howe's collection carries these words by Margaret Atwood, who chose The Good Thief for the National Poetry Series: "These poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots." Under Atwood's words are those of Stanley Kunitz, Howe's former teacher at Columbia, and mentor. Kunitz writes, "Marie Howe's poetry is luminous, intense, and elegant, rooted in an abundant inner life . . . In essence, she is a religious poet, that rarity among writers of her generation." Reviewing the collection for The Partisan Review, Bonnie Costello also notes the poems' religious orientation, saying that Howe, "may well have a career as a poet of spiritual instruction." Noting the poet's tendency towards transcendence, Costello writes, "Howe's best poems refuse to make the...

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This section contains 204 words
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Buy the What Belongs to Us Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
What Belongs to Us from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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