November 19, 2012

Poets You Should Know -- SHARON OLDS

Every once in awhile you stumble across a poem that reaches inside of you into places you didn't know your body contained. Sharon Olds has written poems that do just that. This fact serves as brown paper bag with which we should wrap our sweating 40 ounce bottle that contains our soul.
  • She is the author of numerous works including Satan Says (1980), The Dead and the Living (1984), and The Father (1993). 
  • She teaches creative writing at New York University.

by Sharon Olds

Coming in off the dock after writing,
I approached the house,
and saw your long grandee face
in the light of a lamp with a parchment shade
the color of flame.

An elegant hand on your beard. Your tapered
eyes found me on the lawn. You looked
as the lord looks down from a narrow window
and you are descended from lords. Calmly, with no
hint of shyness you examined me,
the wife who runs out on the dock to write
as soon as one child is in bed,
leaving the other to you.

Your long
mouth, flexible as an archer’s bow,
did not curve. We spent a long moment
in the truth of our situation, the poems
heavy as poached game hanging from my hands.

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