Sharon Olds has divided her new collection into five parts -- Blood, Tin, Straw, Fire, and Light -- each made up of 13 poems whose dominant imagery is animal, mineral, vegetable, fiery, and luminous. The poems weave back and forth in time, from her own birth and the births of her children, through adolescent sexual awakenings and terrors, to the knowledge of love and oneness in another. Never afraid to confront the hidden substance of a woman's nature, she recalls experiences in language that is alternately casually colloquial, startling in its ferocity, and transcendent in its joy. She loves the play of words and, more than ever, her poems almost demand to be read and savored aloud. This is a unique and powerful book that can only reinforce Sharon Olds' singular reputation.