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Analysis and comments on Topography by Sharon Olds

Comment 5 of 5, added on December 19th, 2010 at 12:05 PM.

Olds states "like maps laid
face to face" therefore it is not a mistake that she says "sun rising
swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky" because think about it this way. You have a 2
topography books opened to the USA you put the one on top of the other
face to face" you have New York on California. therefore you have 2 maps
you have 2 sons, one coming from the left one coming from the right... both
coming from east. 4 skies 2 day 2 night.. Astronomically correct.

M Kink from United States
Comment 4 of 5, added on November 2nd, 2010 at 3:27 PM.

Patrick Rumley succesfully trolled you lit. fags. I ask you tards this, y
even spread your hate? even if it to correct the only mistake to ever
happen on an internet comment.

millhouse from Zimbabwe
Comment 3 of 5, added on April 6th, 2006 at 1:11 PM.

A woman as intelligent as Old's almost certainly knows which direction the
sun and moon come from. Could it be that she made a choice as opposed to a
mistake? I'd put money on it. It's people like the author of the first
comment who view abstract images by Picasso as a choice and the abstract
images of non-western art a matter of ignorance.

Olds took a liberty in this poem, just as I will take a liberty in
suggesting that you pull your head out of your pompous, misogynistic

Nicole from United States
Comment 2 of 5, added on February 5th, 2006 at 2:44 AM.

Mr. Rumley,
Maybe you will never read this, but let it be known that people of your
limited, academic-dulled imagination have no right to read poetry if this
is what it produces in you. Please go back to your newpapers and
half-edited textbooks and leave even the worst of poetry to those few who
can appreciate such distortions.

Yours sincerely,
tm healy

Thomas Healy from Czech Republic
Comment 1 of 5, added on October 17th, 2005 at 9:47 PM.

Though this is my favorite Sharon Olds poem, I laugh nearly every time I
read “your / sun rising swiftly from the right my / sun rising swiftly from
the left your / moon rising slowly from the left my / moon rising slowly
from the right.” What I laugh at is how misguided Olds is in her
astronomy. In her description of the moon rise she has it rising in the
West, a common misconception, but wrong none the less. Let it be known
that all heavenly bodies rise in the East and set in the West, this is due
to the rotation of the Earth. Let it also be known that the sun and moon
both rise with the same swiftness, this is also due to the rotation of the
Earth. Though this is the case, let it be known that “Topography” is a
beautiful poem despite, and perhaps because of, Olds misconception
concerning astronomy.

Patrick Rumley

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Information about Topography

Poet: Sharon Olds
Poem: Topography
Volume: The Gold Cell
Added: May 22 2003
Viewed: 790 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 7 2011

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