Haunted: A Review of Maureen Alsop’s Apparition Wren

I met Maureen Alsop before meeting her poetry. We were ghost hunting together in the hills of the Antelope Valley. To clarify, we are not normally ghost hunters, but poets. We were actually in search of poetry—attempting to soften a location of trauma with eulogy. While climbing over the wreckage of a WWII plane, Alsop was able to make harmony out of history and our present experience. Having a conversation with her was like listening to song. She embodied poetry for me. I ran home that night and ordered a copy of her book, Apparition Wren. I read it in hopes that the poems would be as lovely as the poet. I was not disappointed.

Alsop’s poems are sublime; the poems morph with each line to be an ever expanding beauty. As Kant’s sublime was, “to be found in a formless object,” the sublime is present in these poems as the images appear, disappear, to appear again. The book is like visiting a haunted house, the ghosts are ever present and yet delightfully elusive.

In the book’s introduction, Nancy Eimers refers to Alsop’s poems as collages. Collage art is a fantastic way to explain simply the complexity of Alsop’s work—beauty layered upon beauty until the image becomes uncanny. For this reason I would like to present to you snippets of this beautiful work in the form of a collage. I hope that the poems haunt you—for we all could use the ghosts of beauty to occupy the eerie hallways of our thoughts.

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You can order Apparition Wren here: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MAlsop.html

  • ma

    Wonderful! Thank you Pank & Nicelle! Looks like a series of incredible broadsides!