The Wellspring: Poemsby Sharon Olds
Always bold, musical, honest, these poems plunge us
Sharon Olds's dazzling new collection is a sequence of poems that reaches into the very wellspring of life. The poems take us back to the womb, and from there on to childhood, to a searing sexual awakening, to the shock of childbirth, to the wonder and humor of parenthood--and, finally, to the depths of adult love.
Always bold, musical, honest, these poems plunge us into the essence of experience. This is a highly charged, beautifully organized collection from one of the finest poets writing today.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.82(w) x 8.39(h) x 0.35(d)
Read an Excerpt
Bathing the New Born
I love with an almost fearful love to remember the first baths I gave him--
our second child, our first son--
I laid the little torso along my left forearm, nape of the neck in the crook of my elbow, hips nearly as small as a least tern's hips against my wrist, thigh held loosely in the loop of thumb and forefinger,
the sign that means exactly right. I'd soap him,
the long, violet, cold feet,
the scrotum wrinkled as a waved whelk shell so new it was flexible yet, the chest,
the hands, the clavicles, the throat, the gummy furze of the scalp. When I got him too soapy he'd slide in my grip like an armful of buttered noodles, but I'd hold him not too tight,
I felt that I was good for him,
I'd tell him about his wonderful body and the wonderful soap, and he'd look up at me,
one week old, his eyes still wide and apprehensive. I love that time when you croon and croon to them, you can see the calm slowly entering them, you can sense it in your clasping hand,
the little spine relaxing against the muscle of your forearm, you feel the fear leaving their bodies, he lay in the blue oval plastic baby tub and looked at me in wonder and began to move his silky limbs at will in the water.
Meet the Author
Sharon Olds was born in 1942, in San Francisco, and was educated at Stanford University and Columbia University. Her poetry has won both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and in the NYU workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I purchased this book for my daughter-in-law, a genuine poetry person. After just One day, she came to me with gleaming eyes, this book pressed against her chest and thanked me profusely. I believe that puts this book in the "Fabulous" section.
The only thing I can think to say about this book of poems is that they are TERRIBLE. I've never heard so many nasty words - I mean really nasty, sex words, that do not belong in decent books. I feel ashamed to have read them, and cannot recommend this book to anyone.
A life story in poems so finely honed and perfectly detailed that one is liable to forget that Olds has repeatedly insisted that her poems are 'apparently' autobiographical. These poems echo through one another time and again (as in 'Dirty Memories' and 'Mrs. Kirkorkian'), asking us to look at the collection in its entirety as well as for each individual poem. Personally, this book is the one collection of poems I dread even _travelling_ without.