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Stumble, Gorgeous (Green Rose Series) Paperback – October 1, 2005
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“Light-hearted, though wearing a heavy heart, Paula McLain tries her best to shake her cast of invisible fathers. It’s brave to interrogate and, Job-like, dispense of heaven to go on living in and of this world. Stumble, Gorgeous offers her most powerful and accomplished writing to date: the music sings metrically and in a range of sounds and voices; the syntax unfolds pleasure and difficulty in uneven doses and often surprises in its jangling turns. It’s hard to improve on lines of intelligence and grace like these: 'We learn to love by loving silhouette, / We learn to love as a kind of jangling / Prayer, vernacular cant to the floppy horizon, / The unhearing, unheard from hole at the center of.' One marvels at her playful openness, but more so at her passionate movement toward acceptance: ‘Flushed, / breathing, making do.’” (Ira Sadoff)
About the Author
PAULA MCLAIN received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, and has been a resident of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She is the author of two collections of poetry, two novels, and a memoir, and lives in Cleveland with her family.
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"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.