Friday, November 2, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Poet to Know--Maureen N. McLane

I don't know about you, but when I discover a new poet, I get so excited. By "new," of course, I mean new to me. It's just so fun to read a great poem and then dig into a little internet searching to find another and another of their gems. And then maybe dial up the library or bookstore to request anything and everything they've published.

Here's someone I found today, Maureen McLane. I just had to share some of her stuff in honor of the first Poetry Friday of my mostest favorite month, November.

Check out this beauty:

Populating Heaven

by Maureen N. McLane

         If we belonged 
to the dead, if we had our own
Egyptian culture of care—
the amulets of home entombed
for solace everywhere—
would we then have found
a better way to cast beyond
the merely given earth?
         If you want to follow me
you'd better leave your plaid
suitcase and makeup kit
behind.  I hope you won't
mind the narrow corridor;
the air in the chamber's
thinned out.  In this dark
I think my life's an old hinge
creaking in silence.
         Open the door
and you'll see the creatures
I imagined while you were waiting:
the green-eyed dog upright
on his throne, the winged lion,
the woman whose third eye
brightens the room.

You can read the rest here. It's written in such clear language. And it says so much.

And this next one appealed to me in the same way. I'm in a new position at my school as an instructional coach this year, so I'm out of the classroom...hardest part about this? Not getting to teach poetry. I would love to teach this poem and have students write their own "What I'm Looking For" poem:

What I'm Looking For

by Maureen N. McLane

What I'm looking for
is an unmarked door
we'll walk through
and there: whatever
we'd wished for
beyond the door.

What I'm looking for
is a golden bowl
carefully repaired
a complete world sealed
along cracked lines.

What I'm looking for
may not be there.
What you're looking for
may or may not
be me.

The rest of this poem is here.

If you like these two and you enjoy a good love poem (and even though I say I am not a love poem fan, poems like this one make me change my mind) you will really like "Syntax."

Thanks for enjoying the poetry of Maureen N. McLane with me. Be sure to check out the rest of the Poetry Friday lineup today at Mainely Write (best blog title ever???).


  1. Those are interesting. Might look up some more. Thanks for posting!

  2. I like your idea of having students write their own "What I'm Looking For" poem. I might try that with my eighth grade language arts students this year. I'll let you know if I do and share some poems. Thanks for a great idea!

  3. Love that "looking for" poem. Very thoughtful & like Linda above, I'll share with teachers in case they'd like to try the exercise.

  4. Isn't it funny what you miss when a job shifts your responsibilities? I am all language arts now, and I am SO missing teaching science!!

  5. Thanks for introducing me to a new-to-me poet. I especially loved

    In this dark
    I think my life's an old hinge
    creaking in silence.