New Issues, 2009
The poems in Mary Ann Samyn's new book of poetry are punchy,
funny investigations. They incorporate lyrics that sound like speech,
speech that feels like thought, and thought that extends the boundaries
of narrative and linearity. Samyn gets at experience by responding to
her own thinking, and her thinking is wildly unique. Donald Revell writes, "Mary Ann Samyn is a devotional poet, one devoted to the mischief
and sanctity of a threshold life...'A little mayhem goes a long
way' as Samyn avows, and I rejoice to believe her." Samyn's genuine
curiosity pushes her to follow her questions as they come. She writes
in "Suppose We Make That Assumption":
These trees were cut illegally.
Which leaves us what? And why?
I'm reminded of rhythmic gymnastics,
which may or may not be a sport,
which entrances as it perplexes.
Samyn too entrances as she perplexes, questions, and finds her own
mind in the answers. The poem ends, "How will you know me dressed
as I am / in rhetoric and light?" We know her as a writer whose
rhetoric and light draw us into her world.