Poetry News

Michael Valinsky Reads Maureen N. McLane's Some Say

By Harriet Staff
Maureen McLane

At Hyperallergic, Michael Valinsky explores Maureen N. McLane's most recent collection of poetry, Some Say. McLane's poetry stems from inquiries into the Romantics, modernity, and landscapes. The poet explains "One can’t help but channel what has moved through you and touched you … I think of modernity as a long vexed period from about 1750 till now, so Shelley and Wordsworth et al. are, from that angle, contemporaries." From there: 

Such is the zeitgeist McLane’s work inhabits. Known primarily for her jarring use of language and syntax to hint at the lyrical tradition of poetry, McLane is a skilled wordsmith whose poems bask in a timeless word bank, jump from one landscape to another, and fold into their self-reflexive and cosmological selves.

Particularly in Some Say, McLane’s poems are imbued with the shifting of the seasons and the omnipresent sky, though she starts off her collection with a gaze that projects itself from the ground to the depths of the galaxy. In the book’s opening poem, “As I was saying, the sun,” McLane writes: “it’s there the sun / … / Watch it bear down on us / brute beautiful fact // and what stuns / is a sun stuck in the sky / by no one.” The sun, the celestial body oozing of passion and poesy, is stuck, arbitrarily, in the sky, with only the strength of our words keeping it as high as we see it. In this way, the words we employ to designate the elements that constitute our environment are the pillars we must depend on to formulate our ideas of reality.

Read more at Hyperallergic.

Originally Published: January 22nd, 2018