This Blue

Finalist, National Book Awards 2014 for Poetry

This Blue
ISBN 9780374275938
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Maureen McLane
Maureen N. McLane

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From lichens to malls to merchant republics, it’s “another day in this here cosmos,” in Maureen N. McLane’s third poetry collection, This Blue. Here are songs for and of a new century, poems both archaic and wholly now. In the middle of life, stationed in our common “Terran Life,” the poet conjures urban pigeons, Adirondack mountains, Genoa, Andalucía, Belfast, Parma; here is a world sounded out, broken, possibly shareable, newly named: “Take it up Old Adam— / everyday the world exists / to be named.”

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Maureen N. McLane’s scintillating This Blue is an extended love song to the natural world, to the poignant fallibility of contemporary culture, and to the multifoliate possibilities of the poetic voice itself. While McLane's poems are, in their own words, “happy/to be contemporary”, they nevertheless push back against any too readily available sense of what that might mean. What is it to be contemporary? What does contemporary sound like? This Blue offers the world a sumptuous, open-ended answer.