Sharon Olds’ Stag’s Leap is a stunningly poignant sequence of poems telling 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, and the surprising physical passion that still exists between a couple during parting. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous towards the man who was her husband for thirty years and 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’ 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 most powerful books of poetry Olds has produced.
Join us for a rare and special reading on these shores by one of America’s finest poets.