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American Poems: Books: Blood, Tin, Straw: Poems
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 Home » Books » Blood, Tin, Straw: Poems

Blood, Tin, Straw: Poems

  • List Price: $17.00
  • Buy New: $4.11
  • as of 8/21/2014 02:45 EDT details
  • You Save: $12.89 (76%)
In Stock
  • Seller:basementseller101
  • Sales Rank:387,104
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:1
  • Pages:144
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
  • Dimensions (in):8.3 x 5.9 x 0.4
  • Publication Date:October 5, 1999
  • ISBN:0375707352
  • EAN:9780375707353
  • ASIN:0375707352
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
From Sharon Olds—a stunning new collection of poems that project a fresh spirit, a startling energy of language and counterpoint, and a moving, elegiac tone shot through with humor.

From poems that erupt out of history and childhood to those that embody the nurturing of a new generation of children and the transformative power of marital love, Sharon Olds takes risks, writing boldly of physical, emotional, and spiritual sensations that are seldom the stuff of poetry.

These are poems that strike for the heart, as Sharon Olds captures our imagination with unexpected wordplay, sprung rhythms, and the disquieting revelations of ordinary life. Writing at the peak of her powers, this greatly admired poet gives us her finest collection.


From the Hardcover edition.
Amazon.com Review
In such previous collections as The Gold Cell and The Dead and the Living, Sharon Olds tends to draw her impetus from the sexual landscape. The same might be said of the poems in Blood, Tin, Straw. Here, however, the libido is less invariably at center stage. Instead, Olds embraces her favorite subject--the body--in many different guises: as an object of love, desire, reproduction, and decay.

At its best, Blood, Tin, Straw captures effervescent moments with delectable poignancy. In "The Necklace," for example, the narrator recalls a falling strand of pearls that "spoke in oyster Braille on my chest." (She likens the pearls to the snake in the Garden of Eden, yet this beaded serpent seems more intimately related to her own family romance.) And in "My Father's Diary"--itself a strange precursor to the poems in The Father--Olds identifies the chronicle of a life with its departed creator:

My father dead, who had left me
these small structures of his young brain--
he wanted me to know him, he wanted
someone to know him.
Still, Olds has a tendency to trip over her own misspent innuendo. One poem in particular, "Coming of Age, 1966," collapses under the weight of a fabricated personal nostalgia, as the poet conflates her own writer's block with Nick Ut's famous photograph of a napalmed Vietnamese girl: "Every time / I tried to write of the body's gifts, / the child with her clothes burned off by napalm / ran into the poem screaming." Olds pins the blame for this atrocity (and for her writer's block!) on Lyndon Johnson. Yet the photo dates from 1972, which lets LBJ off the hook and points the finger at Richard Nixon. It may seem ludicrous to condemn a poem for being factually incorrect. However, the entire argument here is predicated upon Johnson's culpability in delaying the narrator's "entrance into the erotic." Offensive and overwrought, "Coming of Age, 1966" exemplifies Olds's worst poetic impulses. She does, it should be said, retain much of her appeal in Blood, Tin, Straw. Yet there's still a sense that she's substituting a tried-and-true trademark for her customary, earnest ease. --Ryan Kuykendall

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