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Embryos and Idiots

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This is poetry both luscious and rigorous.-Lynn Emanuel This latest collection from the young but already established luminary Larissa Szporluk is cause for celebration. Szporluk has proven once again that she not only deserves her elevated status in the poetry world, but reinvents and advances it with each new collection. This is spare, sly, seductive, and haunting poetry ...more
Paperback, 71 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Tupelo Press
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Stacy McCullough.
Jul 17, 2008 Stacy McCullough. rated it did not like it
If you read one poem, essentially you read the entire book. Szporluk is attempting to create her own myth drawn from Paradise Lost, each of her sections a different part to the myth. She lacks variety though and though her voice at times is interesting along with word repetition and play, the obvious theme overtakes everything else. You should read Szporluk, just not this book.
Gerbik
Dec 19, 2007 Gerbik rated it liked it
Awesome, to a degree. As a lyric, anarchic, female rejoinder to Milton's epic, orderly, masculine voice (she uses him for her title and epigraphs), the book is conceptually ambitious and tackles the myth of the Fall. Nonetheless, she does so by writing poems that are small, jagged, hypnotic and sexy, and they are all about tempting us into falling from having fallen: re-falling and somehow getting into new space morally and musically - or maybe she just wants to enter a new space-time altogether ...more
Hannah
Oct 09, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it
Recommended by Adrian in an Email, June 15th 2010:

"Your mythological narrative idea sounds intriguing, and so apt based on your experience in this troubled yet magical region. Makes me think of this amazing poet Larissa Szporluck, whose work I *just* dug back into in an attempt to consider the source of a poem that's lived on my studio wall for the past...man...7 years almost. It begins, "It is dark inside the body, and wet, and double-hearted." Ain't that a juicy first line? Well, her newest bo
...more
Kristin
Oct 30, 2007 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is the best one can expect from a poet who seems to be branching off from what her fans have come to love her for.

Individual poems are sometimes much more angry and fragmented, while others still keep the same old Szporluk extended melody, rhyme, and incantation. The book as a whole tells a new myth, a creation story all of Szporluk's making, and the accumulation of the poems and their emotional resonance is what brings this collection together in a way that seems a bit different for this p
...more
Tiffany
Jun 28, 2007 Tiffany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: only a few
It took me awhile to get into the first section of this book. The language was, in Szporluk's usual fashion, magical and engaging, but all of the poems centered around a mythology that seemed, at first, a little hollow. By the end of the section, I was somewhat taken in (she gives voice to the rocks that make up an island, onto which a dead woman washes up), but then in the second section, she abandoned that mythology and switched gears all together! This book had some very memorable moments, bu ...more
Gary McDowell
Aug 08, 2007 Gary McDowell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-ones
The first section of this book is so beautiful.

I'm in the midst of writing a review of this for a lit mag... it's a hard book to pin-down. I love it, its beauty, its mystery, its mythology, but there's something really irky about the jumps that occur between the sections. I think it's easy enough to overcome those irky spots, but a small complaint never killed anyone.

It's still a fantastic book. Five stars for sure.

Update: Reread it last week. It's freaking brilliant! Nuff said.
Kent
Jun 12, 2009 Kent rated it liked it
I appreciate the impulse to write a book of poems that tries to take on myth, and that then digs into that intense connection between mother and son to elaborate on it, but the time spent trying to establish this new myth never moves beyond contrived. Some individual poems are superb, of course. I admire Szporluk's work overall, and that skill is evident in some poems. But anything that has to do with Anoton suffers from over-determination.
Craig
Aug 21, 2008 Craig rated it it was ok
I love the poet. Just not this book.

I find the concept to be interesting, and at points it seems close to realizing its potential.

That said, the book tended to lose a lot of the power that I have found in Szporluk's voice before. I understand the need to try something new and I don't begrudge her ambition, but it feels a bit like a "miss" to me.
Lamski Kikita
Mar 05, 2012 Lamski Kikita rated it liked it
This was pretty intense. I feel like I need to read it again, or a couple more times, before I can claim to fully understand it. One thing i do know, is that it is excellent poetry, and I will be looking Szporluk up and reading more of her work.
Molly
Mar 14, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: poems
(The start of poems in the book were a five and the last poems were a three, for my taste. So I compromised and gave it a four. And now I want to read more of Szporluk.)
Allison
Sep 09, 2008 Allison rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, tupelo-books
I like the concept of the collection more than I actually like the poems in the collection. I'm not sure what that says about me.
Sherry Chandler
Jun 24, 2009 Sherry Chandler rated it liked it
Shelves: thepoets
I kept reading for the energy of the over-the-top language -- and the satiric humor. The vision is very dark.
Kate Birgel
Dec 07, 2009 Kate Birgel is currently reading it
I am about to get this one, given the title alone.
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“. . . God made white people boring,
then yawned and they all turned to stone.”
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