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Sinners Welcome: Poems Hardcover – February 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
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From the Back Cover
In her fourth collection of poems, self-described black-belt sinner Mary Karr traces her improbable journey from the inferno of a tormented childhood into a resolutely irreverent Catholicism. Not since Saint Augustine wrote “Give me chastity, Lord—but not yet!” has anyone brought such smart-assed hilarity to a conversion story.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Concurrent shame and redemption is a recurring theme in this collection. The poet often writes of reaching out to the sacred just as she shrinks back from it, as in "Disgraceland":
"I found myself upright
in the instant, with a garden
inside my own ribs aflourish. There, the arbor leafs.
The vines push out plump grapes.
You are loved, someone said. Take that
and eat it."
Or, in one of my favorites - "For a Dying Tomcat Who's Relinquished His Fomer Hissing and Predatory Nature", in which the poet cradles her dying cat and finds an analogy between herself and the cat, and God and herself:
"It hurts to eat. So you surrender in the way
I pray for: Lord, before my own death,
let me learn from this animal's deep release
into my arms. Let me cease to fear
the embrace that seeks to still me.Read more ›
A good example is her poem 'Orders from the Invisible':
'Insert coin. Mind the gap. Do not disturb
hung from the doorknob of a hotel room,
where a man begged to die entwined in my arms.
He once wrote
he'd take the third rail in his teeth, which is how
loving him turned out.
The airport's glass world
glided me gone from him, and the sky I flew into
grew a pearly cataract through which God
lost sight of us. The moving wall
is nearing its end.'
Read it, and then with all of Karr's poems, pause, think, and read it again. This is a major poet with a unique voice that has much to tell us - if we are open to listening. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 06
Karr converted in mid-life. Prior to her conversion, her life was marked by a difficult childhood in a small Texas town, an ambiguous and violent relationship with her mother, unhappy sexual relationships, a failed marriage, and heavy drinking. In short poems, she writes about her early life experiences from the standpoint of her newfound life -- following her conversion. The poems are tart and sharp but they include an undercurrent of reflection and compassion.
Karr also writes poems describing her life following her conversion. Karr is emphatic that prayer and religious experience have not taken her from the realm of earthly sorrow. Karr describes her life as a single mother, her hopes for her son, and her loneliness when he leaves for college. She describes her continued and frequently unhappy experiences with lovers, and her ongoing difficulties with alcohol. Karr struggles with her religious faith as she struggles with events in her life. But she receives, undeniably, comfort in the church and in her personal experience of prayer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was so disappointed. I loved her other books but this one didn't sit well with mePublished 6 months ago by Alane
"Sinners Welcome" is an edgy, cogent, and brilliant piece of work. Her poetry connects to my amygdala!Published 9 months ago by David M. Barnett
My first encounter with Mary Karr was probably not a good introduction...so I will try to read something else of hers before forming an opinion. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J X Landi
Beautiful product and beautiful service. I am pleased with everything.Published 19 months ago by James Plackner
Absolutely stunning!!!!!!!! Her brilliantly written autobiographies (3 of them!) apparently cleverly concealed a poet of extraordinary talent. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Anne K. Heck