Left-Wife Goose by Sharon Olds

9780224096942

Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2012 and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Sharon Olds’ sequence of poems in Stag’s Leap, tells the story of a divorce, embracing strands of love, sex, sorrow, memory and new freedom.

“America’s greatest living poet” The Guardian

Hoddley, Poddley, Puddles and Fogs,
Cats are to Marry the Poodle Dogs;
Cats in Blue Jackets and Dogs in Red Hats,
What Will Become of the Mice and Rats?
Had a trust fund, had a thief in,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Fiddle-Dee-Dee, Fiddle-Dee-Dee,
The Fly Has Left the Humble-Bee.
They Went to the Court, and Unmarried Was She:
The Fly Has Left the Humble-Bee.
Had a sow twin, had a reap twin,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
In Marble Halls as White as Milk,
Lined with a Skin as Soft as Silk,
Within a Fountain Crystal-Clear,
A Golden Apple Doth Appear.
No Doors There Are to This Stronghold
Yet Robbers Break In and Steal the Gold.
Had an egg cow, had a cream hen,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Formed Long Ago, Yet Made Today,
Employed While Others Sleep;
What Few Would Like to Give Away,
Nor Any Wish to Keep.
Had a nap man, had a neap man,
Had a flood man, could not keep him.
Ickle, Ockle, Blue Bockle,
Fishes in the Sea.
If You Want a Left Wife,
Please Choose Me.
Had a safe of 4X sheepskin,
Had a brook brother, could not keep him.
Inter, Mitzy, Titzy, Tool,
Ira, Dura, Dominee,
Oker, Poker, Dominocker,
Out Goes Me.
Had a lamb, slung in keepskin,
Had some ewe-milk, in it seethed him.
There Was an Old Woman Called Nothing-at-All,
Who Lived in a Dwelling Exceedingly Small;
A Man Stretched His Mouth to the Utmost Extent,
And Down at One Gulp House and Old Woman Went.
Had a rich pen, had a cheap pen,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Put him in this nursery shell,
And here you keep him very well.

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