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Friday, September 24, 2010

Poetry Friday--One Secret Thing

One Secret Thing is the eighth collection of poems by Sharon Olds [811.54 OLD]. I love this description from the jacket copy:
...the poems are shot through with Olds's characteristic passion, zany imagination, and poetic power.
"Zany imagination" caught my interest and sent me flipping through the pages. "Zany" isn't exactly the word I would have used to describe the poems in this particular collection, but, there's no mistaking the "passion." Here's "Behavior Chart" to give you an idea of what you can expect from One Secret Thing:

There was one for each child, hand-ruled
with the ivory ruler--horizontal
the chores and sins, vertical
the days of the week. And my brother's and sister's
charts were spangled with gold stars,
as if those five-point fetlocks of brightness were
the moral fur they were curly with, young
anti-Esaus of the house, and my chart
was a mess of pottage marks, some slots filled
in so hard you could see where the No. 2
Mongol had broken--the rug under the grid
fierce with lead-thorns. My box score
KO, KO, I was Lucifer's knockout, yet it
makes me laugh now to remember my chart.
Affection for my chart?! As if I am looking
back on matter--my siblings' stars armed
figures of value, and my x'ed-out boxes
a chambered hatchery of minor
evils, spiny sea-stars, the small
furies of a child's cross tidal heart.
Visit Karen Edmisten's blog for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooo, those last three lines--brilliant. Thanks for sharing this. Adding it to my to-read pile right now!