Mercury Dressing


Publisher: Knopf
This beautiful collection from J. D. McClatchy holds up a mirror to the soul, considering heroic and human figures in poems that “balance mandarin wit with enormous learning, a fully twenty-first-century sensibility and a deft use of the demotic” (Bookpage).


MERCURY DRESSINGTo steal a glance and, anxious, seeHim slipping into transparency—The feathered helmet already in place,Its shadow fallen across his face(His hooded sex its counterpart)—Unsteadies the routines of the heart.If I reach out and touch his wing,What harm, what help might he then bring?But suddenly...
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“Powerful . . . Given McClatchy’s formal virtuosity, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he jots his grocery lists down in terza rima, too.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Although these poems lament the smarts and humiliations attendant on love and loss, they provoke the kind of wonder and joy we experience when the curtain comes down on a dazzling performance.” —The New Leader