Take The I Out

But I love the I, steel I-beam
that my father sold. They poured the pig iron
into the mold, and it fed out slowly,
a bending jelly in the bath, and it hardened,
Bessemer, blister, crucible, alloy, and he
marketed it, and bought bourbon, and Cream
of Wheat, its curl of butter right
in the middle of its forehead, he paid for our dresses
with his metal sweat, sweet in the morning
and sour in the evening. I love the I,
frail between its flitches, its hard ground
and hard sky, it soars between them
like the soul that rushes, back and forth,
between the mother and father. What if they had loved each other,
how would it have felt to be the strut
joining the floor and roof of the truss?
I have seen, on his shirt-cardboard, years
in her desk, the night they made me, the penciled
slope of her temperature rising, and on
the peak of the hill, first soldier to reach
the crest, the Roman numeral I--
I, I, I, I,
girders of identity, head on,
embedded in the poem. I love the I
for its premise of existence--our I--when I was
born, part gelid, I lay with you
on the cooling table, we were all there, a
forest of felled iron. The I is a pine,
resinous, flammable root to crown,
which throws its cones as far as it can in a fire.

by Sharon Olds

Other poems of OLDS (34)

Comments (6)

The World According To Sharon Olds, I love the most reading the World through her eyes, True Ars Poetica at its Best. Congratulations dear Mrs. Olds by being chosen as the Modern Poem Of The Day. Hurray! We all on POEMHUNTER say HURRAY NOW. Though you're an atheist, as far as I am concerned....I say G.B.U. Amen.10+
A great poem encompassing the basic psychic riddle of human beings that starts with I and mine. n enjoyable read.Thanks for posting it here.
I vwish the PH community had her with out Love back.
Like the soul that rushes! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
What a great description of conception. We all start with the I and end with it.
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