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One Secret Thing

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One Secret Thing Cover

ISBN13: 9780375711770
ISBN10: 0375711775
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Oldss 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

boyfriends name as one of two

brought to the hospital after the sunrise

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

critical, one of them dead. I was looking at the

stairwell banisters, at their lathing,

the necks and knobs like joints and bones,

the varnish here thicker here thinner—I had said

Which one of them died, and now the world was

an ants world: the huge crumb of each

second thrown, somehow, up onto

my back, and the young, tired voice

said my fresh loves name.

from “Easter 1960”

Review:

"The ninth outing from Olds (Blood, Tin, Straw) should again please the many admirers of her raw, vivid and often explicit poems, but might surprise few of them — until the end. As in all her books, Olds works in a demotic free verse, driven by rough enjambments and shocking comparisons: she devotes much of her energy (three of five sections here) to sex, remembered pain and parenthood — the dramatic, abusive household in which she grew up and her tender relationship with her own daughter. Olds depicts the traumas of her first decades with undeniable, if occasionally cartoonish, force: 'When I think of people who kill and eat people,/ I think of how lonely my mother was.' Olds can also offer high-volume poetry of public protest, as in the set of sonnet-sized poems against war with which the book begins. What seems new here are Olds's reactions to her mother's last years, and to her mother's death. On an antidepressant, briefly 'adorable,' and then in failing health, 'my mother sounds like me,/ the way I sound to myself — one/ who doesn't know, who fails and hopes.' Both the failures and the hopes find here a voice that takes them seriously. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco. Her poetry has been chosen as the Lamont Poetry Selection and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Erica Reichert, July 7, 2010 (view all comments by Erica Reichert)
Sharon Olds' collections of poetry are always amazing, technically stellar, emotionally rich, and completely accessible. This collection is not quite as amazing as The Unswept Floor. The war poems are politically needed and right on target but leave something to be desired in execution. However, the poems chronicling the process undergone as she loses her mother are everything I could ever expect of such a masterful and seasoned poet. Truly amazing. All told, I still want to be Sharon Olds when I grow up.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375711770
Author:
Olds, Sharon
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
General
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
8.38x5.96x.31 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

One Secret Thing New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.95 In Stock
Product details 112 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780375711770 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The ninth outing from Olds (Blood, Tin, Straw) should again please the many admirers of her raw, vivid and often explicit poems, but might surprise few of them — until the end. As in all her books, Olds works in a demotic free verse, driven by rough enjambments and shocking comparisons: she devotes much of her energy (three of five sections here) to sex, remembered pain and parenthood — the dramatic, abusive household in which she grew up and her tender relationship with her own daughter. Olds depicts the traumas of her first decades with undeniable, if occasionally cartoonish, force: 'When I think of people who kill and eat people,/ I think of how lonely my mother was.' Olds can also offer high-volume poetry of public protest, as in the set of sonnet-sized poems against war with which the book begins. What seems new here are Olds's reactions to her mother's last years, and to her mother's death. On an antidepressant, briefly 'adorable,' and then in failing health, 'my mother sounds like me,/ the way I sound to myself — one/ who doesn't know, who fails and hopes.' Both the failures and the hopes find here a voice that takes them seriously. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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