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Customer Review

36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious poetry?, 11 Feb. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Adoption Papers (Paperback)
I studied this collection of poetry last year, having not really read any of Jackie Kay's poetry before. The first thing which struck me was how Kay is able to put ideas forward in a way which includes her reader completely; it is very easy to see where she is coming from. "The Adoption Papers" is actually the title of a poem, seperated into 'chapters', which relates the story of a white couple adopting a black baby (Kay is a black writer who was actually adopted, although how 'autobiographical' this poem may be is debateable). This poem makes up the first section of the poetry volume, "Severe Gale 8" is the second half. Severe Gale 8 is a collection of shorter poems, some re-exploring themes from the previous section.
Both of the sections deal with issues such as the question of how important origins are to peolpe as they grow up as well as what constitutes a 'normal' family unit.
What I liked about this collection of poetry is that it is modern, it deals with issues which remain to be very relevant to today's society. Contentious issues are discussed instead of being shied away from, and are done so in a way which makes you stop as you read the poems, in order to consider what is being said.
Although Kay may not have the same direct humour as other poets, such as Carol Ann Duffy, her poetry is still very entertaining. A good read generally.
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