Sharon Olds: ‘Nothing False Will Be Spoken’

I traversed Sharon Olds’s selection of poems in Poetry (April 2023) fresh in the morning and they entered me fluently, with almost no friction. It’s a rare and wonderful reading experience where POMAG fare is concerned. This has happened to me before with Olds. I seem to rock to this writer’s beat; the poetry in her verse hides in plain sight for me. It’s almost too easy to cherry-pick crystalline utterance from it:

… Nothing
false will be spoken, as if we have promised
each other the truth. I do promise you that,
I love to make you a promise. It is
an eros, and it is a bond — we are not
just flying around like electrons…
(“Golden Shovel: Our Faithfulness”)

A prejudice is an addiction, and it’s
contagious — parents infect their children…
(“Addiction Sonnet”)

… This morning, the story of this country
is being told again,
on the street corners, the story of destruction,
of race, and rage, the law choppers and the
news choppers are chopping…
(“Day of Demonstrations”)

… I love the way
his palms face backwards when he walks, with that cattleman
walk — and the curls at his nape, black
and silver-shot. I love his thick
neck! And the way his 3 o’clock shadow can’t
be told from the dirt he has been working in…
(“Mathematical Love Poem, With a Proof”)

The best cover so far this year. Credit Tré Seals, Cover Artist. The subheading “A Magazine of Verse” is new.

(c) 2023 — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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