These poems dig deeply into the past and show us what is unearthed, and the effect these discoveries have
Scale is about a relationship between a father and a son. These poems consider the importance of acknowledging the past as well as the dangers in doing so.
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Reviews / Endorsements
“. . . McClain does the difficult work of transforming his stories, of turning his stories into our own. Scale is an incredible debut.”—C. Dale Young
“Just when I’d despaired of reading a poet who writes one line at a time, one poem at a time, assiduous to steer clear of the Big Project or the High Concept, Nathan McClain’s Scale shows up! . . . he writes poems of real feeling and quiet integrity that are verified by their passionate understanding of how form, emotion, and music entail each other in the best and most lasting art. McClain’s kind of talent is rare in any generation.”—Tom Sleigh
“. . . Scale allows for the far rarer necessary explorations of male vulnerability, fragility, fear and cycles of upending sorrow. . . . Scale will not allow its reader to turn away, or deny its harder truth. Scale is a daring, unrelenting interrogation of loss, silence, and longing in the plaintive cry of a son among so many other sons.”—Vievee Francis
From the Book:
The Fortress of Solitude
Other than to stand in the long silence,
the lengthening shadow, of these two
figures carved from marble—
his mother and father—
what brings him back here?
Other than to regard them
as they were before
everything went wrong. Before,
when the big globe raised between them,
so old a memory now, was still his home.
NATHAN MCCLAIN is a recipient of scholarships from The Frost Place and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a graduate of Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. A Cave Canem fellow, his poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Ploughshares, Sou'wester, Iron Horse Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, Waxwing and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.