The House of Entertaining Science

In Her Newest Collection, Lynne McMahon offers poems of memory and youth, all lycra and spandex ; of literary influences, from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Anna Akhmatova (from whom the book's title is derived); and of adulthood and the ambiguities of family life. As in her previous volume, Devolution of the Nude, these poems are richly allusive and diverse (Indiana Review). But they also show a rare groundedness and coherence -- a yearning, in the words of Eavan Boland, to heal the false divisions between the public and the private, between the outer meaning and the inner perception.