Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Come and See

Fanny Howe
Here a gun might go off,
There perhaps a broom would brush away the sticks of spring.
It was not your fault where you were dropped
Or where you took your first steps.

—from “After Watching Klimov’s Agoniya

In Fanny Howe’s latest collection of poems, she beckons us toward the origins of both our collective knowing and our misperception. These poems move from one country to another and from one archetypal position—parent, grandparent, child—to another in the wake of the twentieth century. Certain movies provide an almost religious resolution to questions and experiences. “I don’t blame the children for anything,” Howe writes in one poem. “Their century is like a director who prefers his script to his actors.” With startling revelation and lyrical power, Come and See urges us to observe the world anew.

Share Title

Publication Date
Trim Size
6 x 9
“We cannot do without Fanny Howe.”—Ange Mlinko, The Nation

About the Author

Fanny  Howe
Credit: Lynn Christoffers
Fanny Howe is the author of more than thirty works of poetry and prose, including The Needle's Eye, Come and See, The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation, Radical Love: Five Novels, and The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life. Her most recent poetry collection, Second Childhood, was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award, and her fiction was honored as a finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. She lives in New England.
More by author


  • “There’s a remarkable sense of immediacy to Howe’s morally and spiritually interrogative poems. . . . Howe’s inquiring eye gathers all manner of earthy details, while her thoughts ascend to a more encompassing plane as she laments the horrors of the last century and marvels over those who cannot ‘believe / in an earth without heart.’”—Booklist
  • “Howe is plainspoken, serious, visionary.”—Robyn Creswell, The Paris Review (“Staff Picks”)
  • Come and See is an excellent compendium, very much recommended reading.”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Dwelling in this book, one has the sense of being very close to another person, barely discernible, as in a dark theater. The poems, radically different from one another, form a system requiring total immersion, a suspension in the poetry, until the self, everything it knew and expected to encounter, has been forgotten.”—BOMBlog
Back to Table of Contents