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My Poets by Maureen N. McLane
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A poet who writes both experimental and traditional narrative/lyric poems, I had highly anticipated reading Maureen McLane's My Poets. The cover blurb reads "In poetical prose both probing and incantatory, McLane has written a radical book of experimental criticism."

For this reader, McLane's prose is neither probing nor incantatory. I had hoped for thoughtful comments that would give me greater insight into more elusive poets, such as Gertrude Stein, but instead I read the type of inane comments as follows:

"My Wallace Stevens is an insurgent inching in the bristling forest and a stolid giant rolling metaphysical rhymes down the mountain" (54).

As a memoir of her encounter with poetry, the book relies too much on quotes from the poets she's read and too little on solid, in-depth literary criticism. ( )
  lilyionamackenzie | Jul 25, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374217491, Hardcover)

A thrillingly original exploration of a life lived under poetry’s uniquely seductive spell

“Oh! there are spirits of the air,” wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley. In this stunningly original book Maureen N. McLane channels the spirits and voices that make up the music in one poet’s mind. Weaving criticism and memoir, My Poets explores a life reading and a life read. McLane invokes in My Poets not necessarily the best poets, nor the most important poets (whoever these might be), but those writers who, in possessing her, made her. “I am marking here what most marked me,” she writes. Ranging from Chaucer to H.D. to William Carlos Williams to Louise Glück to Shelley (among others), McLane tracks the “growth of a poet’s mind,” as Wordsworth put it in The Prelude. In a poetical prose both probing and incantatory, McLane has written a radical book of experimental criticism. Susan Sontag called for an “erotics of interpretation”: this is it. Part Bildung, part dithyramb, part exegesis, My Poets extends an implicit invitation to you, dear reader, to consider who your “my poets,” or “my novelists,” or “my filmmakers,” or “my pop stars,” might be.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

"Oh! there are spirits of the air," wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley. In this stunningly original book Maureen N. McLane channels the spirits and voices that make up the music in one poet's mind. Weaving criticism and memoir, "My Poets" explores a life reading and a life read. McLane invokes in "My Poets" not necessarily the best poets, nor the most important poets (whoever these might be), but those writers who, in possessing her, made her. "I am marking here what most marked me," she writes. Ranging from Chaucer to H.D. to William Carlos Williams to Louise Gluck to Shelley (among others), McLane tracks the "growth of a poet's mind," as Wordsworth put it in "The Prelude." In a poetical prose both probing and incantatory, McLane has written a radical book of experimental criticism. Susan Sontag called for an "erotics of interpretation" this is it. Part "Bildung," part dithyramb, part exegesis, "My Poets" extends an implicit invitation to you, dear reader, to consider who your "my poets," or "my novelists," or "my filmmakers," or "my pop stars," might be.… (more)

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