The Book of Hours

Marianne Boruch (Author)


"Marianne Boruch's work has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention."--The Washington Post

"[H]er patience, her willingness to wait for the film of familiarity to slip, allows her to see what is there with a jeweler's sense of facet and flaw."--Poetry magazine

Endearingly strange, unsentimental, and uniquely structured, in true Rilkean fashion The Book of Hours questions the meaning and significance of everything from the flaws of human interaction to perfect posture. Unrelenting honesty and exacting description are coupled with the trials of a dying mother, saint shadows, birds, and "shit drying to chalk."

My mother's body to wires, to tubes
and their liquid, days she turned toward me
or away, winter but so much sun
from car to door. I followed it past nurses

at their station talking movies, who's good
in one and not the other. Gown tied
at the back and neck, she slept beside
a window. I wedged my chair there, reading,

looking up, reading, --who knows what
I read--her legs bruised, thin, arms battered
by the doctor's needle. Her face. Can I
say this plainly now? There was light

as she grew less. She drifted to it.
I'm not hungry, not religious, I'm in a spot,
she told me one afternoon then
closed her eyes to that radiance again.

Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago and earned a masters degree from the University of Massachusetts. She teaches at Purdue University and at Warren Wilson College. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Product Details

Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date
November 08, 2011
5.4 X 0.4 X 7.3 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

Marianne Boruch: Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago and received a BS from the University of Illinois and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Poems New & Selected(2004), which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Terrence Des Pres Prize for Poetry. Boruch has taught at Purdue University since the inception of their MFA program, and she also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College.