Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sharon Olds




Here's a powerful poem by Sharon Olds, featured last week on The Writer's Almanac, in case you missed it.


My Father's Diary


When I sit on the bed, and spring the brass
scarab legs of its locks, inside
is the stacked, shy wealth of his print.
He could not write in script, so the pages
are sturdy with the beamwork of printedness,
WENT TO LOOK AT A CAR, DAD IN A
GOOD MOOD AT DINNER, LUNCH WITH MOM,
TRIED OUT SOME RACQUETS—a life of ease,
except when he spun his father's DeSoto on the
ice, and a young tree whirled up
to the hood, throwing up her arms—until
LOIS. PLAYED TENNIS WITH LOIS, LUNCH
WITH MOM AND LOIS, DRIVING WITH LOIS,
LONG DRIVE WITH LOIS. And then,
LOIS! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! SHE IS SO
GOOD, SO SWEET, SO GENEROUS, I HAVE
NEVER, WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE
TO DESERVE SUCH A GIRL? Between the tines
of his W's, and liquid on the serifs, moonlight,
the self of the grown boy pouring
out, kneeling in pine-needle weave,
worshiping her. It was my father
good, it was my father grateful,
it was my father dead, who had left me
these small structures of his young brain—
he wanted me to know him, he wanted
someone to know him.
Sharon Olds


best,
Don

4 comments:

Ed Baker said...

is the first Sharon Olds
piece that I've read...

I am an instantaneous fan;

thanks

Greg Schwartz said...

wow, that's a pretty powerful piece.

Charles Gramlich said...

I think this i that will take a few readings from me. A complex piece.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed, Glad you liked her ... Greg, powerful, indeed -

Charles, I always have to go back over her work, even when I'm floored on the initial reading - the power rarely diminishes in rereading, something that can't be said about many poets.

Don