Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poem of the Week: "The One Girl at the Boys Party," by Sharon Olds

This Poem of the Week is brought to you by the word "nostalgia." I wanted a poem by a woman writer today, since it's been a while since I posted one here. So I went to the source of the very first formal lit paper I wrote in college. My first real literature class in college (titled, appropriately, "Introduction to Literature") really taught me how to write a good paper. I was ridiculously excited about the "A-" I got on my paper about this poem. So there you go.

Also, it's just a pretty cool poem all around. Enjoy!

The One Girl at the Boys Party, by Sharon Olds

When I take my girl to the swimming party
I set her down among the boys. They tower and
bristle, she stands there smooth and sleek,
her math scores unfolding in the air around her.
They will strip to their suits, her body hard and
indivisible as a prime number,
they'll plunge into the deep end, she'll subtract
her height from ten feet, divide it into
hundreds of gallons of water, the numbers
bouncing in her mind like molecules of chlorine
in the bright blue pool. When they climb out,
her ponytail will hang its pencil lead
down her back, her narrow silk suit
with hamburgers and french fries printed on it
will glisten in the brilliant air, and they will
see her sweet face, solemn and
sealed, a factor of one, and she will
see their eyes, two each,
their legs, two each, and the curves of their sexes,
one each, and in her head she'll be doing her
wild multiplying, as the drops
sparkle and fall to the power of a thousand from her body.

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