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Strange With Age (Paperback) (Sharon Cumberland)
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Strange with Age, by prize-winning poet Sharon Cumberland, explores the gains and losses of the ageing process through the prism of her 95-year-old father, as well as other, wide-ranging subjects concerned with the vagaries and challenges of living. Built around the sonnet cycle "My Father Has Grown Strange with Age," the poems reflect the poet's travels to Rome, Glasgow, Seattle, and San Francisco, and an array of nursing homes, fantasies, and dreams. Cumberland's poems are known for the clarity and accessibility of her voice. They can be understood and appreciated by adolescent and college readers, while mature readers will find a treasure trove of meaning in the clever use of imagery and metaphor. Cumberland is also known for her spirituality in the tradition of Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Denise Levertov. Her poems explore the mysteries of faith, both in contemporary and biblical settings, without being off-putting to secular readers. Her work is a magic mirror in which the reader can see the extraordinary through the mundanity of daily life. Sandra Cisneros calls Cumberland's poetry "truer than x-ray or photo." Kathleen Flenniken says the Strange with Age offers "truth, consolation, and a lovely sense of humor."