If you’re looking for some interesting new poetry, go no further than Maureen McLane’s new book. Even the titles are inviting: “Another Day in this Here Cosmos,” “OK Fern,” “Tell Us What Happened in the 14th Century,” and “Morning with Adirondack Chair.” McLane writes often about travel, nature, love, but most importantly it’s all filtered through the lens of her mind. Her particular world-view is humorous and serious at the same time, and often feels edgy, new. There’s a sense that she does not take herself too seriously while at the same time, she writes in deep earnest.
One poem begins, “OK fern / I’m your apprentice / I can tell you // apart from your / darker sister.” It ends with a sincere request for the wild plant to tell the narrator what to do with her life. (We’ve all been there speaking to trees or inanimate objects.)
In “Levanto,” a beautiful travel poem, she says, “scant pines / stagger the Apennines / semaphoring….I am older / than the sea / in me.”
In “All Good” you can see her talent for describing the natural world, “the mountain’s / promiscuous/ any cloud can take him / any sun can have him.”
She’s an intelligent writer in love with words, yet her poems move fast with taut language that really carries the reader along. Try her book out, you won’t be disappointed. Or as McLane says, “Take it up old Adam / every day the world exists / to be named.”