Stag's Leap: Poems (Paperback)

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Stag's Leap: Poems By Sharon Olds Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Stag's Leap is quite simply the most stunning collection of break-up poetry I've ever read.  Olds posses the unique ability to weave her grief into phenomenally vulnerable and patient lamentations. Take her outstretched hand and allow her meditations on abandonment and freedom to nourish your heart.

— Max

After Olds' divorce, she agreed not to publish any poems about it for at least 10 years. 15 years later, she published this collection of the most devastating, beautiful, cutting yet somehow generous, divorce poems imaginable, and proceeded to win the Pulitzer. Absolute legend.

— Maslen


PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • From one of today's best poets—a stunningly poignant sequence of poems that tells the story of a divorce, embracing strands of love, sex, sorrow, memory, and new freedom.

In this wise and intimate telling—which carries us through the seasons when her marriage was ending—Sharon Olds opens her heart to the reader, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love’s sight; the surprising physical bond that still exists between a couple during parting; the loss of everything from her husband’s smile to the set of his hip. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous toward the man who was her mate for thirty years and who now loves another woman. As she writes in the remarkable “Stag’s Leap,” “When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up. Even when it’s I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side of the leaver.” Olds’s propulsive poetic line and the magic of her imagery are as lively as ever, and there is a new range to the music—sometimes headlong, sometimes contemplative and deep. Her unsparing approach to both pain and love makes this one of the finest, most powerful books of poetry Olds has yet given us.

About the Author

SHARON OLDS was born in San Francisco and educated at Stanford and Columbia universities. Her first book, Satan Says (1980), received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Her second, The Dead and the Living, was  both the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983 and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Father was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize in England, and The Unswept Room was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and is one of the founders of  NYU's writing workshops for residents of Goldwater Hospital, and for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780375712258
ISBN-10: 0375712259
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Pages: 112
Language: English