Very Good+ No Jacket as Issued. Book. Signed by Author(s) First edition stated on verso of title page; signed by Sharon Olds on the title page with no inscription; minor edge wear; otherwise a solid, clean copy in collectable condition.
Sharon Olds is clearly and in your face a woman poet. As a man, I was just jolted by her candidness. Olds is a wonderful poet, but she really exposes her female side better than any woman poet I've ever read. There is one poem in hear about making love after hearing that someone in her apartment building had been raped. What goes on in that speakers head having voluntarily sex will remember the sexual violence that took place near by, well, it is just insightful, powerful, and great.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-27 This sixth collection from Olds (Satan Says) revisits the obsessive roles and disturbing bodily images that have become her trademarks: she presents herself once again as lover, mother, daughter and voyeur. Olds certainly has a flair for diction, whether describing the aftermath of protected sex ("gore condom in the toilet a moment/ like a sea pet in its bowl, the eel/ taking our unconceived out to the open ocean") or the act of childbirth: "in the crush/ between the babies' skull-plates and the skin/ of the birth-gates, I wanted the symphesis/ more cherished." Anecdotes meant to shock abound. One poem records oral fixations: "I want to suck/ sweet, hot milk, with the salt/ silk of the human woman along/ my cheek." Another outlines death wishes: "I wanted to be/ fucked blind, battered half dead with it." One at a time, these scenes can be arresting; one after another, they make parts of the book as tiresomely, disappointingly repetitive as a sex therapist's case notes. Olds's arrangement of her work into five sections of fourteen poems each (the three title elements, plus "Fire" and "Light") does nothing to counter the book's overall sameness. Though she anticipates charges of narcissism with the poem "Take the I Out," Olds's descriptions of other victims can seem tactless, even predatory-a girl burned by napalm flings her "arms/ out to the sides, like a plucked heron"; the ill-fated crew of the space shuttle Challenger becomes a "burning jigsaw puzzle of flesh." Olds still suceeds, though, when she attends to her own body, where her skills continue to make her, as she writes, "a message conveyor,/ a flesh Morse." (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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