Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Size And Sheer Will

This is a poem that I read for another class that I'm currently taking. I completely fell in love with the images of what it is like to watch your child grow. I can see that it can be both a joyful and sad experience all at the same time.
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Size And Sheer Will
By Sharon Olds

The fine, green pajama cotton,
washed so often it is paper-thin and
iridescent, has split like a sheath
and the glossy white naked bulbs of
Gabriel's toes thrust forth like crocus
this early Spring. The boy is growing
as fast as he can, elongated
wrist dangled, lean meat
showing between the shirt and the belt.
If there were a rack to stretch himself, he would
strap his slight body to it.
If there were a machine to enter,
skip the next ten years and be
sixteen immediately, this boy would
do it. All day long, he cranes his
neck, like a plant in the dark with a single
light above it, or a sailor under
tons of green water, longing
for the surface, for his rightful life.
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2 comments:

Scott said...

20 points. Olds has long been one of my favorite poets -- but I hadn't read this one. Thanks for sharing it here!

Anonymous said...

i'll have to argue on the meaning of this poem:
I think olds is trying to argue that people shouldn't be straining for things they shouldn't have. the boy is made out to be poor and malnourished. references to the rack, a malicious torture device is used. and most of all, he is compared to a drowning sailor, and a dying plant--just as they are dying, so is the boy (in a manner of speaking). if one trying to attain that which they don't deserve they are prone to die, so to speak