McLane’s ‘This Blue’

Why Dante in summertime?

When most of our modern poets confine themselves to what they had perceived, they produce for us, usually, only odds and ends of still life and stage properties; that does not imply so much that the method of Dante is obsolete, but that our vision is perhaps comparatively restricted (Eliot, The Sacred Wood).

McLane’s latest collection I found musically well weighted. Perhaps a little obviously so, but she seemed in control of any lack of subtlety.

However, I was disappointed with the collection as a whole, which dawned on me for the penultimate section to the book, and its reference to Wordsworth

When we had given our bodies to the wind

we found bones in earth and not in sky.

We found arrowheads in the earth and not in the sky though

they flown through the air before grounding (p65).

There is no loss of language, and nor do I have a sense of resignation to content; but I am puzzled by her equations on love and death.