Thursday, April 1, 2010

Topography - Sharon Olds

You can't get more "contemporary" than Sharon Olds (1942-  ) or writing that is more personal and touching on some of her favorite themes: sex, the body, family.  She is somewhat controversial, but definitely popular, partly because her poems are so accessible and not "intellectual", as she will be the first to acknowledge.  (Writing in free verse also doesn't hurt accessibility.)  Regardless, it's been "good enough" with academics and critics to win her major awards and teaching posts, etc.  I chose this one because there is more playfulness in the eroticism vs. some of her others. 


After we flew across the country we
got in bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states untied, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

                                                                                               Sharon Olds - American

1 comment:

sacco said...

I just want to comment and this one is particularly compelling. Especially since yesterday at a meeting, the group stood up and said the pledge of allegiance and when we sat down, someone under their breath said..."yea, if we really did have justice for all.."