What I’m Reading: Stag’s Leap

Stags LeapWhen Sharon Olds’ long time husband divorced her, she wrote a book of poetry in her conversational style. The poems in Stag’s Leap talk about seeing the woman in question with her husband, but also delve into deeper responses when Olds queries the nature of love and honor.

The poems display a frantic tone at times, and Olds is at home talking about sexuality: “Dread and sorrow reaching, in time, into every reach there comes the hour I wonder if my husband left me because I’m not quiet enough in our bed.” The book is also comical, as in the poem “Left-wife Goose:” “Hoddely, Poddely, Puddles and Fogs,/ Cats are to Marry the Poodles and Dogs.” Stag’s Leap doesn’t give in to sentiment, but Olds was a long-time lover. The last lines of the book read, “I freed him, he freed me.”