I want to write about my wattles–oooo

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ODE TO WATTLES

Sharon Olds

 

I want to write about my wattles–oooo, I

lust after it,

I want to hold a mirror under my

chin so I can see the new

events in solid geometry

occuring below my jaw, which was

all bone till now, and now is jam-packed

reticule.  I love to be a little

disgusting, to go as far as I can

into the thrilling unloveliness

of an elderwoman’s aging.

Read rest of poem 

Ms. Olds has sometimes being criticized for being self-involved, for narcissism run amok. I see no logic to this sort of censure, agreeing with Philip Larkin, who said in an interview, “A very crude difference between novels and poetry is that novels are about other people and poetry is about yourself.” Ms. Olds renders the personal universal.

-Dwight Garner, New York Times, September 26, 2016

Sharon Olds, Laureate of Sexuality, Scrutinizes the Body in ‘Odes’

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