One Secret Thing by Sharon Olds


SKU: 9780375711770 Category:

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 humor, 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 revisioning, 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.

The doctor on the phone was young, maybe on his

first rotation in the emergency room.

On the ancient boarding-school radio,

in the attic hall, the announcer had given my

boyfriend’s name as one of two

brought to the hospital after the sunrise

service, the egg-hunt, the crash—one of

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