“MacLaine’s imagery, both urban and rural, is
remarkable, and no other Canadian poet is quite as capable as MacLaine is
in marrying the formal and the colloquial.”
— Anne Compton, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry
“Brent MacLaine’s poems are wide-visioned, big-hearted, and rifted with intelligence. Since years ago when I found a smoke-and-water-damaged copy of Bachelard’s The Psychoanalysis of Fire, this is my favourite book with a fire-heated title. Sensuousness pervades it, giving you the “ceaseless cycling of the hurting and the healing” and “the flash of newness on all things old and grey.” And when was the last time you came across poems imagined in the voices of a wolf, a dictator’s son, or five drowned grand pianos?"
— Brian Bartlett, author of Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar andThe Watchmaker’s Table
In his new collection of poems, Prometheus Reconsiders Fire, Brent
MacLaine undertakes an exploration of fire. The prefatory title poem
establishes Prometheus as the poet’s persona, a voice that is dedicated to
the reconsideration of fire in both its benevolent and malevolent aspects.
Formal and elegant, Prometheus plots a trajectory between the classical and
the local, a bearing that will be familiar to readers of MacLaine’s earlier
work Athena Becomes a Swallow. Wide-ranging in its geography, the new
book is wrapped ’round by “The Fire Hall Suite” that begins and ends the
book. These are poems that respond to the “drive-by wisdom” created by the
anonymous “Sign Person” who speaks to the local community by way of the
Fire Hall’s roadside sign. Framed by the “Suite,” the poems of Prometheus
move between city and country. A naturalist in the city, MacLaine brings to
the urban environment the acutely observing eye that has always character-
ized his Island nature poems.