Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble

Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble

by Carolyn Oliver
Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble

Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble

by Carolyn Oliver


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Inside this debut collection, girlhood’s dangers echo, transmuted, in the poet’s fears for her son. A body just discovering the vastness of “want’s new acreage” is humbled by chronic illness. Epithalamion turns elegy. But this world that so often seems capricious in its cruelty also shelters apple orchards, glass museums, schoolchildren, century-old sharks; “there’s no accounting for / all we want to save, no names.”  

Oliver’s polyphonic gathering of speakers includes lovers and saints, painters and dead poets, a hawk and a mother. In varied forms (ghazals and prose poems, dialogues and erasures, bref double and Golden Shovel, among others) these poems bear witness to and seek reprieve from disasters at once commonplace and terrifying. “I can’t surface for every scalpel slice, / I need a dreamy estuary present,” she writes. 

Stumbling toward joy across time and space, these poems hum with fear and desire, bewildering loss, and love’s lush possibilities. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647690915
Publisher: University of Utah Press
Publication date: 07/13/2022
Series: Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Oliver’s poems appear in The Massachusetts Review, Indiana Review, Cincinnati Review, Radar Poetry, Shenandoah, Beloit Poetry Journal, 32 Poems, Southern Indiana Review, Cherry Tree, Plume, DIALOGIST, The National Poetry Review, and in many other journals. Carolyn is the winner of the E. E. Cummings Prize from the NEPC, the Goldstein Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review, the Writer’s Block Prize in Poetry, and the Frank O’Hara Prize from The Worcester Review. She lives in Massachusetts with her family. 

Table of Contents

Foreword Matthew Olzmann ix

My Son Asks if I Would Rather Live in a House Infested by Bees or a House Infested by Koalas 1

Eve Grinds Pigments for Artemisia Gentileschi 5

To the man who tried to grab my face through the car's open window 7

Waiting 8

Skin 9

The Eider Keepers 10

Saint Agnes Meets a Hawk on the River's Edge 11

Reading Szymborska under a Harvest Moon 12

Dead Reckoning 13

Hip Check 14

Cary/Carrie 15

Eve Condoles with the Rokeby Venus after the Suffragette Slashing 16

Self-Portrait as Cedar Chesc 18

In Shaker Heights They Culled the Elms 19

Eve Studies Cezanne's The Basket of Apples 23

Convent 24

Argent 25

Hymn in My Sickness 26

Geography Lessons 28

Spectral Evidence 29

Saint Ursula Advises Emily Dickinson 31

Prayer 32

Do Not Fail to Yield 33

Eve Makes a Target for William Tell 34

Track Listing: 2008 37

A Valediction For Mourning 38

April Ghazal 40

The Horse I Would Have Chosen 41

Somewhere a shark 42

In Your Copy of Akhmatova's Poems 43

Epithalamion with Missing Groom 44

First Wedding Dress 45

The Anchorite to Rising Seas 46

Curation 47

Listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams on a Tuesday Night 48

Rhododendrons 50

In Another Life, You Live 51

John Donne and Leonard Cohen at the End of the World 52

n miles from Wait Drug 55

Soon Enough 56

Eve and Psyche Arrive for a Shift at the Mirror Factory 57

The Glass Museum 59

After the Exhibit 61

Cigarettes after Sex 62

Questions about Bisexuals, #4 63

Love Poem with Fiddlehead Ferns 64

An Aubade 65

Wacertown 69

Midsummer 71

The Public Is Invited to See the Yew Trees in Full Fruit at This Time 72

Election 73

Elementary 74

On a school morning in mid-October 76

No Names 77

Horse Latitudes 78

Colts 79

Nine Minutes in June 80

Dear Dr. Park, it's June again 81

Playroom Canticle 83

Still Life with Lost Tooth and Cooling Universe 84

Eve and Johnny Appleseed Sift through Ohio Pomace 85

Midlife 89

Notes 93

Acknowledgments 95

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