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From the alphabet inscribed in our DNA to the stars that once told stories, Same Life maps a cosmos both intricate and vast. In her first full-length book of poems, Maureen N. McLane has written a beautifully sensual and moving work, full of passion and sadness and humor and understanding. Erotically charged lyrics conjure a latter-day Sappho; major sequences explore citiz ...more
Hardcover, 109 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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The best thing about McLane's poetry--and there are many great things--is that it wants to participate in our lives. It takes on the big themes: love, sex, art, social inequality, political hypocrisy, etc.. And it knows its formal and historical contexts. But it is not weighted down by these things. It carries them the way all carry them, sometimes heavily, sometimes lightly, most of the time with wry resignation and a lingering sense that existence can be pleasurable after all. It declares itse ...more
With a voice discretely public and sufficiently "notational," frankly charming and perfectly brusque, more curious than accelerated, Maureen N. McLane's first book pays debts to her intellectual heroes (Sontag) and poetic persons of the poem (Moore, Bishop, Duncan, O'Hara, Howe). "What we have," she writes in the critical book, on romanticism and the discursive networks of humanism, written concurrently with this volume, "is a situation in which the elite practitioners of a culturally prestigiou ...more
Maureen McLane is both a highly-regarded critic and a member-in-training of the Boston school of contemporary poetry, whose writers tend toward the colloquial, let's-have-little-bohemian-epiphanies-about-painting school of O'Hara/manque verse. Her line is spare and measured, but not really jarring or weighty enough to distinguish itself from the many others working the same terrain. Great-looking cover, though.
Oct 25, 2008 S. rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: industry insiders
Recommended to S. by: Ellen
This was recommended very warmly by a friend who lent me her copy, which she bought as soon as it came out, having read one of the McLane's poems in The New Yorker. It's not bad, a high two stars I guess. There were a couple of poems I liked quite a bit, but more often I felt the nagging "so what." At $24, I was glad I hadn't bought this myself.