Monday, July 16, 2018

Mary Karr*

Mary Karr has just released her fifth poetry collection Tropic of Squalor from HarperCollins. This is her first book of poetry since Sinners Welcome (2006). Despite her passion for poetry, she is best known for her trilogy of memoirs, the most-recent of which is Lit (2009). She has also written The Art of Memoir (2015), a book about how to write memoirs. Karr is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, where she's taught for more than 25 years.

She is one of the poets celebrated in my anthology The Turning Aside: The Kingdom Poets Book of Contemporary Christian Poetry(available here) and through Amazon.

The following poem first appeared in Commonweal, and is from Tropic of Squalor.

The Devil's Delusion

I lie on my back in the lawnchair to study
the trees claw up toward heaven.
They have all the sap I lack.
It’s doubt I send rivering cloudways
in great boiling torrents, as if all creation
were a bad stage set I could wave
-----------------------------------------------way away,
then I could cast my dark spells in a blink
and a flaming fingersnap—and
a universe de Mare pops up
so I win the everlasting argument against all
that was or will or tiredly is.
As if my soul would not in that blink
be obliterate. As if, as kids say.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Mary Karr: first post

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.