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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A menagerie of things strange and beautiful, November 30, 2005
Mawibooks "Mawi" (Kalamazoo, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stumble, Gorgeous (New Issues Poetry) (Paperback)
Stumble, Gorgeous, McLain's eagerly awaited second book of poetry, is a thin volume of the richest poems. These finely crafted poems are intimate and fresh with voices both strange and honest. In her poem "Heaven," McLain revisits some of the same themes found in her memoir Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Houses, a book about her teenage years in foster care.

"In practical terms, we were children-mortal

And possessed. We folded easily into handbags and teacups"

In the section called "Bestiary," the animals listed there are just a step away from normal. Poems have names like "Fiji Mermaid," "Kissing Bug," "Two-Headed Nightingale," and "Platypus, Dreaming." These strange beings speak in voices similar to those of the lost girls, wanting to find a familiar place, a home, but feeling the world doesn't quite know what to do with them. From "Jackalope":

"Something must have mothered me,

Rare as I am, shy of light as I am."

Stumble, Gorgeous is a book of contradictions and juxtapositions-its world a menagerie of things strange and beautiful looking for a safe place to call home.
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Stumble, Gorgeous (New Issues Poetry)
Stumble, Gorgeous (New Issues Poetry) by Paula McLain (Paperback - January 1, 2005)
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