Sharon Olds completes her cycle of family poems in a book at once intense and harmonic, playful with language, and rich with a new self-awareness and sense of irony. The opening poem, with its sequence of fearsome images of war, serves as a prelude to poems of home in which humour, anger, and compassion sing together with lyric energy - sometimes ...
Sharon Olds completes her cycle of family poems in a book at once intense and harmonic, playful with language, and rich with a new self-awareness and sense of irony. The opening poem, with its sequence of fearsome images of war, serves as a prelude to poems of home in which humour, anger, and compassion sing together with lyric energy - sometimes comic, sometimes filled with a kind of unblinking forgiveness. These songs of joy and danger - public and private - illuminate one another. As the book unfolds, the portrait of the mother goes through a moving revision, leading us to a final series of elegies of hard-won mourning. One Secret Thing is charged throughout with Sharon Olds's characteristic passion, imagination, and poetic power.
Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-07-21 The ninth outing from Olds (Blood, Tin, Straw) should again please the many admirers of her raw, vivid and often explicit poems, but might surprise few of them--until the end. As in all her books, Olds works in a demotic free verse, driven by rough enjambments and shocking comparisons: she devotes much of her energy (three of five sections here) to sex, remembered pain and parenthood--the dramatic, abusive household in which she grew up and her tender relationship with her own daughter. Olds depicts the traumas of her first decades with undeniable, if occasionally cartoonish, force: "When I think of people who kill and eat people,/ I think of how lonely my mother was." Olds can also offer high-volume poetry of public protest, as in the set of sonnet-sized poems against war with which the book begins. What seems new here are Olds's reactions to her mother's last years, and to her mother's death. On an antidepressant, briefly "adorable," and then in failing health, "my mother sounds like me,/ the way I sound to myself--one/ who doesn't know, who fails and hopes." Both the failures and the hopes find here a voice that takes them seriously. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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