I Go Back To May 1937 Poem by Sharon Olds

I Go Back To May 1937

Rating: 3.5

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

Dave Walker 19 November 2011

Really like this, a really really good poem. Enjoyed reading it. May i invite you to read my new one. Called, Indian Brave.

4 7 Reply
Troy Ulysses Davis 29 November 2012

I enjoyed the perspective of the narrative.

7 0 Reply
Kim Barney 29 November 2014

Holy cow! This poem hits hard and pulls no punches. A fantastic job!

2 0 Reply
Paul Amrod 23 November 2017

A very dynamic warning exhibiting the necessity of personal thought before actions are taken, I am also a propagator of self-thinking. Thank you for your wonderful poem, Paul

1 1 Reply
Colleen Courtney 15 May 2014

Nicely written and told from an interesting perspective. Well done.

1 0 Reply
Khairul Ahsan 15 November 2020

'Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it' - that's the way to do it. Congratulations on your poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 15 November 2020

strike sparks from them, I say Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it. /// it's a poem where the remembered past nowadays comes out as a history where are appended the happiness and sorrow of life, the struggle, the conjugal life; the benumbed feelings of real-life and many others things of life; it's really stupendous writing; I enjoyed

0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 15 November 2020

Now that was a powerful read! ! ! The intensity of a mystery novel and the emotion of a well-crafted poem. I have got to read more by this extraordinary writer! ! ! !

0 0 Reply

simply beautiful and grandeur

0 0 Reply
Deluke Muwanigwa 15 November 2020

Great poem. It leaves one to fill in the puzzle. Bang them together at the hips. Thats a unique artistic way of talking in public about procreation. Great stuff.

0 0 Reply
Error Success