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1 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002


Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A powerful collection from one of our most gifted and widely read poets-117 of her finest poems drawn from her seven published volumes.

Michael Ondaatje has called Sharon Oldss poetry “pure fire in the hands” and cheered the “roughness and humor and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss.” This rich selection exhibits those qualities in poem after poem, reflecting, moreover, an exciting experimentation with rhythm and language and a movement toward an embrace beyond the personal. Subjects are revisited-the pain of childhood, adolescent sexual stirrings, the fulfillment of marriage, the wonder of children-but each recasting penetrates ever more deeply, enriched by new perceptions and conceits.

Strike Sparks is a testament to this remarkable poets continuing and amazing growth.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and was educated at Stanford and Columbia. She was the New York State Poet Laureate from 1998 to 2000. She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and was one of the founders of the NYU workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Her work has received the Harriet Monroe Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets, and the San Francisco Poetry Center Award. She lives in New York City.

Sharon Oldss The Dead and the Living; The Gold Cell; The Wellspring; The Father; Blood, Tin, Straw; and The Unswept Room are available in Knopf paperback.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

From Satan Says (1980)

Indictment of Senior Officers

The Sisters of Sexual Treasure



Infinite Bliss

The Language of the Brag

The Talk

I Could Not Tell


From The Dead and the Living (1984)


Photograph of the Girl

Race Riot, Tulsa, 1921

Of All the Dead That Have Come to Me, This Once


My Father Snoring

The Moment

The Connoisseuse of Slugs

New Mother

Sex Without Love



Rite of Passage


The Missing Boy


The One Girl at the Boys’ Party


From The Gold Cell (1987)

Summer Solstice, New York City

On the Subway

The Food-Thief

The Girl

The Pope’s Penis


I Go Back to May 1937


Why My Mother Made Me

After 37 Years My Mother Apologizes for My Childhood

Cambridge Elegy


I Cannot Forget the Woman in the Mirror

The Moment the Two Worlds Meet

Little Things

The Month of June: 13½

Looking at Them Asleep


From The Father (1992)

The Glass

His Stillness

The Lifting

The Race


The Feelings

His Ashes

Beyond Harm

The Underlife

Natural History

The Ferryer

I Wanted to Be There When My Father Died

Waste Sonata

My Father Speaks to Me from the Dead


From The Wellspring (1996)

My Parents’ Wedding Night, 1937

Japanese-American Farmhouse, California, 1942

Killing My Sister’s Fish

Mrs. Krikorian



May 1968

Bathing the New Born

41, Alone, No Gerbil


My Son the Man

First Formal

High School Senior

The Pediatrician Retires

This Hour

Full Summer

Am and Am Not

True Love


From Blood, Tin, Straw (1999)

The Promise


Dear Heart,


That Day

After Punishment Was Done with Me

What Is the Earth?

Leaving the Island

The Prepositions


Cool Breeze

For and Against Knowledge

The Spouses Waking Up in the Hotel Mirror

You Kindly

Where Will Love Go?

The Protestor

The Summer-Camp Bus Pulls Away from the Curb

The Talkers

First Thanksgiving

The Native

The Knowing


From The Unswept Room (2002)

Kindergarten Abecedarian

Bible Study: 71 B.C.E.

5¢ a Peek

Grey Girl

Still Life in Landscape

The Wedding Vow

His Costume

First Weeks

The Clasp

Diaphragm Aria

The Window

Fish Oil

Wonder as Wander

The Shyness

April, New Hampshire

The Untangling

The Learner

Heaven to Be

The Tending


The Unswept

Product Details

Olds, Sharon
Alfred A. Knopf
New York
American - General
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
n. 7
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.38x5.94x.65 in. .64 lbs.

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