The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

March 31, 2011

Maureen N. McLane's New Poem, "Huh"

In past years Maureen N. McLane has recommended recent discoveries, stopped by the recording booth, and written extensively on the work of August Kleinzahler.

This year she outdid herself. McLane's generously allowed us to debut "Huh." And so we kick off National Poetry Month in the best way we know how:



What’s a month

in the world

of a wish?

Poetry is dead?

You will eat hot lead?

Western culture’s outbled?

Whan that Aprille

with his shoures soote

the droghte of March

hath perced to the roote

then do marauding hordes

Google poetry.

What’s a pilgrim to do

without a set shrine,

belief shred?

Thirty days

hath September,

April, June, and November—

the zodiac’s realigning

itself along new lines

that will outlast

these and all lines.

No one man

should have all that power.

The clock’s ticking

I just count the hours

till the dictators

all morph into jello.

How strange

to be invited

to pay attention.

And now

you want to

make it worth it

whatever happens.

Our time’s short and dark

but for weird light



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



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