The Sunday Before Winter Reviews

A clear voice—lyric soprano—and singing such songs: difficult, frightening, fragile. But all glistening like wet stones, the wings of insects, scissors.
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“In Marilyn Bowering’s poetry the world that we touch and the world that we dream are brought together in a mirror that reflects completeness and an understanding only possible in the finest art, and Marilyn Bowering’s poetry is some of the finest art we possess.”
—Robin Skelton

“Mastery of form, rhyme, metre, and sound would be enough to compel attention to Bowering’s compositions…Yet more compelling is her invention of a mythology—whose main topics are loss, grief, dream, and delight—both attached to classical literary and mythological sources and independent from the.  It is one thing to transform personal experience into myth portentous but impenetrable; it is quite another thing to recognize the universal in personal experience and to discover for it appropriately clear, starling, sometimes unnerving mythical objects….Though her poems are as concentrated as lyrics in their music, imagery, and passion, Bowering’s greatest poetical gift is her ability to infuse in such lyrical concentrations the thoughtful breadth of meditation.”
—Canadian Literature, Mark Madoff

The Killing Room

“The poems…are wonderfully well-written, intricate, yet wide open pieces of writing.”
Cave (NZ), Paul Edmund Gotro

“.…her subtle use of sound and diction is brilliant.”
Quill & Quire, Ian Pearson

“If Emily Carr had been a poet instead of a painter, I think her extraordinary imagination would have sought expression in the haunting poems collected in Marilyn Bowering’s, The Killing Room.”
The Windsor Star, Len Gasparini

Sleeping With Lambs

“I cannot remember when I last read a book of poems that offered such wild magic, such mysterious power….Bowering offers us nothing less than the creation of a new world, a strange seldom-entered abyss so deep inside ourselves we can hardly bear to glimpse it.”
Victoria Times Colonist, Doug Beardsley

“Disturbing and quietly original, Bowering fashions her verse with a persistent devotion to craftsmanship.  It is eerie, magical, and chant-like poetry. It is not particularly easy, and, at times, not very pretty, but it is always very good.”
Books in Canada, Douglas Hill

Giving Back Diamonds

“She[Bowering] writes with a kind of absolute pitch, her use of words spare, accurate, evocative…one has the sense not only of walking in a fascinating mind but also of perceiving through a subtle and highly tuned sensibility. The diction is unerring; the tone is always appropriate; the poise is so assured that one longs for and welcomes the occasional awkwardness the necessary imperfection.”
Canadian Literature, George Woodcock

“This is a book of humour and tragedy, lyricism and anger, memory and mythology. Bowering manages a clarity of vision with a lushness of language rarely seen in such a successful combination….It is quite a feat to be witty and acknowledge the sad realities of life all at once. This is book to be read over and over, and an achievement that will certainly place Marilyn Bowering in the top ranks of poets in this country.”
—Writer’s Quarterly, Carolyn Smart

“Marilyn Bowering’s fifth book is her best so far, which means that it is astonishing in its lyrical strength, its deftly controlled symbolism, and its freshness of vision and clearly places Bowering as one of the most significant of our…poets.”
—The Malahat Review