Sentimental Standards: Poems
This third collection of McMahon's poems reconfirms her position among the most promising poets of her generation, a status reinforced this spring by her major award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She has a genius for making sense, and poetry, of the ordinary, for "transforming the least promising dross into aspects for intricate contemplation"; or, as G. E. Murray put it in The Southern Review, "Perhaps 'rear-ranging molecules' of thought and language is the best way to describe how she uses the unconscious to grab the reader's attention." Hers is a large and promising talent.
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"McMahon's poems counter the notion that kitsch and flashy iconography threaten the mandarin pleasures of poetry. Under her Midas touch, what is available becomes indispensable." — The New Yorker