Sinners Welcome


by Mary Karr

Sinners Welcome

Hardcover, 93 pages, Harpercollins, List Price: $22.95 | purchase


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Book Summary

A fourth compilation of poetry by the author of The Liars' Club and Cherry describes her evolution into an irreverent Catholic, detailing the various steps in her conversion and reflecting on the themes of loss, her tutelage in Jesuit prayer practice, and the influence of poetry as a pathway out of suffering. 25,000 first printing.

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Excerpt: Sinners Welcome

Sinners Welcome

Sinners Welcome


HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Mary Karr
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060776544

Pathetic Fallacy

When it became impossible to speak to you
due to your having died and been incinerated,
I sometimes held the uncradled phone

with its neat digits and arcane symbols (crosshatch,
black star) as if embedded in it
were some code I could punch in

to reach you. You bequeathed me
this morbid bent, Mother.
Who gives her sixth-grade daughter

Sartre's Nausea to read? All my life,
I watched you face the void,
leaning into it as a child with a black balloon

will bury her countenance
either to hide from
or to merge with that darkness.

Small wonder that still
in the invisible scrim of air
that delineates our separate worlds,

your features sometimes press toward me
all silvery from the afterlife, woven in wind,
to whisper a caution. Or your hand on my back

shoves me into my life.


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