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How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
pp. 27-33 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0063

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How History Would Have It by Rose McLarney.

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Redemption by Rose McLarney.

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Arcadia by Rose McLarney.

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Watershed by Rose McLarney.

Rose McLarney  

Rose McLarney “A couple of years ago, thinking about the cautionary-feeling but often rather irrational and amoral Appalachian lore that haunted the area where I grew up, I set out to write contemporary folk tales and ghost stories. But I’m not actually all that interested in the otherworldly or transcendent, and I am keenly concerned with the earthly and idiosyncratic. So the project turned into an examination of the many versions of any story that almost always exist. I looked at how, due to the subjectivity of first-person accounts and the shape-shifting quality of memory, the telling makes the meaning, whether we are taking folk tales across oceans and through centuries or forming our recollections of the events of our own lives. And I began permitting my poetic voices, which had once aspired to be authoritative, to speak like human voices, to ask questions, to pause, to waver if need be. Even more, I wanted to let them be generous and inclusive, allowing for the multiple versions of the story (and the reader’s speculation and input). There are signs of the poems’ restlessness and their dissatisfaction with the moral that history is supposed to teach in the early poem ‘Arcadia.’ Then, the later poems can be seen constructing themselves and heard correcting themselves. Rather than the absolute of writing what I know or continuing the traditions of a kind of regional writing in which I could claim expertise, I began to try to evoke another effect. It’s the feeling of the inquiry ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’ a traveler gets when she walks into a new place and still, somehow, recognizes a quality in a face or can hum a refrain in an otherwise strange song.”

Rose McLarney's collection of poems, The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, was published by Four Way Books. She has received a number of awards and fellowships for her work, which has appeared in theKenyon Review, Orion, Slate, New England Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and dozens of other journals. Rose earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers and currently is assistant professor of poetry at Oklahoma State University.

Copyright © 2013 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Rose McLarney. "How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed." The Missouri Review 36.3 (2013): 27-33. Project MUSE. Web. 8 Jan. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
McLarney, R.(2013). How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed. The Missouri Review 36(3), 27-33. University of Missouri. Retrieved January 8, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Rose McLarney. "How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed." The Missouri Review 36, no. 3 (2013): 27-33. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed January 8, 2014).
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T1 - How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed
A1 - Rose McLarney
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 3
SP - 27
EP - 33
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.3.mclarney.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
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