World Enough

The poems in Maureen McLane's second book meld elevated and colloquial language to present a honed, wise, and refreshingly authentic voice. Though the poems explore questions of the self and its place in the larger world, those questions are cast out by a speaker who looks for answers both in the natural mystery of flora and fauna and the array of people at the local poolside bar. This unique voice is perhaps most alive in the book's "Passage" poems, which are discursive in form and whose movement allows McLane to show a range of tone and feeling. From "Passage III":

insistent crow
cardinal whoop
peepers booming open the night
          stabbing life into your heart
          the odious air

This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.