Antechamber and Other Poems joins a growing list of contributions that includes the verse collection September Blackberries (1974) and Jaguar Skies (1975) as well as the musical play Gorf (1976). His writing in recent years is “alchemical” in its intent, yet his twin declarations, “Biology is Politics” and “I Am A Mammal Patriot,” perhaps express more accurately both the universality of his outlook and its human particularity.
McClure’s mysticism is vigorously scientific. Even the familiar patterned shapes of his poems remind us of the stars in the night sky and those we see when we shut our eyes. In the dancing lines of his newest work—the title poem “Antechamber” most especially—are the whirl of galaxies, the radiance of molecules, the energy lines of the double helix coiling around its core. — New Directions, 1978
“McClure’s poetry seems to me among the very best, among the most beautiful and most joyous, being written these days. He has created his own form and his own idiom, and he has gone on to become an absolute master of it.” —Aram Saroyan, The Village Voice
“McClure…manages a series of discoveries, and his language strikes with almost flintlike suddenness and brilliance.” —Chicago Tribune Book World
Publisher: New Directions
Cover photo by Larry Keenan