Rose McLarney. Penguin, $20 (70p) ISBN 978-0-14-313319-3
McLarney (Its Day Being Gone) takes up the challenge facing all poets writing in the era of the sixth extinction: how to match the highly personal, lyric impulse to species-wide, even planetary imperatives. “In my life, I have made unusually much time for looking,” the poet writes in one of this haunting book’s many ambivalent gestures: at once almost embarrassed by her own powers of discernment, yet also sure of the world’s need for high-minded interventions; “There’s a dwindling woodland beyond the window/ turned away from, by me in my admiring, by art/ finding its ending.” Rhetorical questions abound as poem after poem delivers elegant, if also familiar epigrams: “Who doesn’t know Audubon shot the birds he admired,/ stuffed them to make models?” and “Wildflowers tend to themselves// while all people plant these days are satellite dishes.” McLarney settles easily into the posture of generalized, humanistic guilt: “Yet we all want the measures, so much extension,/ even of these days,” as if there are universal sentiments that “the small/ mind asks when someone speaks/ about the big picture.” Readers will revel in the work’s undeniable beauty and smarts. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/11/2019
Release date: 09/03/2019
Genre: Poetry
Ebook - 978-0-525-50497-9
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