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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

National Poetry Month.... I must include some Sharon Olds

The Shyness

Then, when we were joined, I became
shyer. I became completed, joyful,
and shyer. I may have shone more, reflected
more, and from deep inside there rose
some glow passing steadily through me, but I was not
playing, now, I felt a little like someone
small, in a raftered church, or in
a cathedral, the vaulted spaces of the body
like a sacred woods. I was quiet when my throat was not
making those iron, orbital, rusted,
coming noises at the hinge of matter and
whatever is not matter. He takes me into
ending after ending like another world at the
center of this one, and then, if he begins to
end when I am resting I feel awe, I almost feel
fear, sometimes for a moment I feel
I should not move, or make a sound, as
if he is alone, now,
howling in the wilderness,
and yet I know we are in this place
together. I thought, now is the moment
I could become more loving, and my hands moved shyly
over him, secret as heaven,
and my mouth spoke, and in my beloved’s
voice, by the bones of my head, the fields
groaned, and then I joined him again,
not shy, not bold, released, entering
the true home, where the trees bend down along the
ground and yet stand, then we lay together
panting, as if saved from some disaster, and for ceaseless
instants, it came to pass what I have
heard about, it came to me
that I did not know I was separate
from this man, I did not know I was lonely.

I always have to thank Pam for introducing me to this poet. Subtle, vivid.. no one quite like her. (Pam and Sharon Olds!)


Kelly said...

Yep. I always think of Pam when I see anything by Sharon Olds.

Pam said...

Wow! My name with that of Sharon Olds is beyond a compliment for me, as she is one of my muses, one of my early influences!

I love this choice. It's a favorite!

raven said...


You are right, this poem is so subtle and vivid.
I will definitely explore Sharon Olds's work.

I am backlogged on my reading but she truly strikes deep chords with me.


Marion said...

Quid, you've chosen one of her best poems for this post. (I, too, always think of Pammie when I read Sharon Olds because I know she loves her so much.) The painting of the woman in white is perfect, too. Thanks for sharing this. Love & Blessings!!