The Gold Cell
By Sharon Olds

A tutor gave me this book of narrative poems when I was in seventh grade. Even though I was young, I related to the author so much. Some lines are so moving that I think of them when I'm acting and need to convey something sad or difficult in a scene. In "Cambridge Elegy," the narrator talks about her boyfriend, Averell, who died in a car crash:

"Ave, I went ahead and had the children,
the life of ease and faithfulness…
…every millimeter of delight in the body,
I took the road we stood on at the start together, I
took it all without you as if
in taking it after all I could most
honor you."

It's sad and hopeful at the same time—the idea that she feels having a happy life is the best way to remember her lover.


Next Story