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More stuff I've read
I know I'm not supposed to like this poem by Sharon Olds, but I can't help myself. I know it's full of trite images and it's got less form than a newbie knitter's first poncho. But the question in the first two lines is one I could ponder all day, and the last line kills me. I guess it's the overwrought undergraduate chick in me, the same one who still loves Sylvia Plath.

"Sex Without Love"

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

Miles of yarn has some interesting comments on it.

Oh, and last night I finished rereading James Joyce's "The Dead". So, so gorgeous. Anyone who's interested in Ireland, or people, or parties, or the passing of time, needs to read this.

Current Music: earworm of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird" (thaaanks, BC!)

3 comments or Leave a comment
martip From: martip Date: September 26th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poo on "supposed to"! There are bits there that I like, too. So there. Now you are tempting me to re-read some Joyce, you evil woman.
emperor_fool From: emperor_fool Date: September 26th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Feh to supposed to or not supposed to. I've always liked that poem. And I've taught it a couple of times, and it's remarkable to watch the students go from feigning incomprehension (or real incomprehension in the case of the poetry-phobes who shut down when they encounter a line break) to the "oh, yeah--I get what she's talking about" moment. Usually it happens when I make one of them read the "come to the come to the come to the" part out loud, with feeling. :-)
yokospungeon From: yokospungeon Date: September 26th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Supposed to?

Who says you are not supposed to like it and who made them the boss of everything?

3 comments or Leave a comment