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My Poets

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A thrillingly original exploration of a life lived under poetrys 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 poets 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 poets 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.

Review:

"This is no layman's guide to poetry. In this unusual book that can only be described as a love song — written in a jumpy yet satisfying mixture of prose criticism, memoir, anecdote, and imitative verse written in tribute — McLane, herself a poet and acclaimed critic of poetry, presents an esoteric tour of her personal pantheon, the poets that have shaped her life. McLane (World Enough) devotes a chapter to one or two poets at a time, and while her picks are not surprising, they are all treated surprisingly: McLane forever associates Chaucer, for instance, with the word 'Kankedort,' 'a lonely word whose definition can only be inferred from its single, immediate context in Chaucer's poem.' In 'My Elizabeth Bishop/ (My Gertrude Stein),' McLane makes another unlikely pairing when her failed undergraduate thesis on Stein leads her to a lifelong love of Bishop, casting the essay in flowing, a-grammatical Stein sentences: 'Why did I want to be made by Stein./ She is of course very fine. Everyone thinks so except those who don't.' Those who know a lot about contemporary poetry will find this book packed to the gills with in-jokes, deep knowledge, and scars and scuff marks from a life lived in poetry's trenches. Newer poetry readers will be lured deeper by McLane's boundless enthusiasm. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A thrillingly original exploration of a life lived under poetrys 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 poets mind. Weaving criticism and memoir, My Poets explores a life reading and a life read. McLane invokes 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 poets mind,” as Wordsworth put it in The Prelude. In 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.

About the Author

Maureen N. McLanes essays have appeared in numerous publications. She is the author of Same Life (FSG, 2008) and World Enough (FSG, 2010). She received the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing. She teaches at New York University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374217495
Author:
Mclane, Maureen N
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Author:
McLane, Maureen N.
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
American - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130514
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Works Consulted
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

My Poets Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.31 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374217495 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This is no layman's guide to poetry. In this unusual book that can only be described as a love song — written in a jumpy yet satisfying mixture of prose criticism, memoir, anecdote, and imitative verse written in tribute — McLane, herself a poet and acclaimed critic of poetry, presents an esoteric tour of her personal pantheon, the poets that have shaped her life. McLane (World Enough) devotes a chapter to one or two poets at a time, and while her picks are not surprising, they are all treated surprisingly: McLane forever associates Chaucer, for instance, with the word 'Kankedort,' 'a lonely word whose definition can only be inferred from its single, immediate context in Chaucer's poem.' In 'My Elizabeth Bishop/ (My Gertrude Stein),' McLane makes another unlikely pairing when her failed undergraduate thesis on Stein leads her to a lifelong love of Bishop, casting the essay in flowing, a-grammatical Stein sentences: 'Why did I want to be made by Stein./ She is of course very fine. Everyone thinks so except those who don't.' Those who know a lot about contemporary poetry will find this book packed to the gills with in-jokes, deep knowledge, and scars and scuff marks from a life lived in poetry's trenches. Newer poetry readers will be lured deeper by McLane's boundless enthusiasm. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A thrillingly original exploration of a life lived under poetrys 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 poets mind. Weaving criticism and memoir, My Poets explores a life reading and a life read. McLane invokes 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 poets mind,” as Wordsworth put it in The Prelude. In 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.

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