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Selected Poems Michael Ondaatje has called Sharon Olds's poetry 'pure fire in the hands' and cheered the 'roughness and humour and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss' This rich selection made by the author exhibits those ualities in poem after poem reflecting over an exciting experimentation with rhythm and language and a movement toward an embrace beyond the personal Subjects are revisited the pain of childhood adolescent sexual stirrings the fulfilment of marriage the wonder of children but each re casting penetrates ever deeply enriched by new perceptions and conceitsA powerful distillation of the best work from one of America's most gifted and widely read poets drawn from her seven published volumes this is a testament to a remarkable writer's depth range and continuing development 35 As raw self obsessed and self aware as Frida Kahlo And way ahead of her time Sharon Olds eschews formal poetic forms and writes primarily about her own life She seems to me to follow in the tradition of Robert Lowell I find her poems very powerful and readable but surprisingly unuotable I liked this greatest hits less than the magnificent Stag's Leap for which she won the Pullitzer prize and the T S Eliot Prize That book told the story of her divorce and I find her most powerful when she tells a story in a seuence of poems I'm now reading The Dead and the Living which has coherence than the selected poems With simple construction and straightforward clarity her poems are beautiful in a matter of fact way They have good bones raw and real I was first introduced to the work of Sharon Olds when I heard one of her poems in the 'Into the Wild' film In fact she worked closely with Sean Penn and Carine when making it I immediately looked up the author and ordered a copy of 'The Gold Cell' from a bookstoreFast forward a few years and this book fell into my hands Again I was in love with her workI don't read a lot of poetry never have done And a friend recently asked what this poet Sharon Olds wrote about I didn't really know how to respond I went for the word 'life'Sharon has the ability to put you right in her shoes You picture her sat there writing down the words for the first time You see her mind racing you see her getting her thoughts down on paper as pure as the reality capturing that moment and letting it live forever in one of her books You are tossed about You live and breath her work You sigh and you cry You feelAnd for me a person that doesn't read much poetry that is what poetry should be about That is art And that is Sharon OldsThis collection is a great introduction to her work but I feel one would benefit by ordering one of her singular collections Have a look at 'The Gold Cell' or 'The Father' as they were my favourite poems in this book Searing honest lyrical and shocking Olds is a deserving winner of the TS Eliot prize; looking forward to reading Stag's Leap Highly recommend this selection as an introduction to her work Shockingly corporeal poetry that makes you recoil at its intimacy and yet compelling Serious stuff but not taking itself too seriously I tender The Pope's Penis as an example i keep Wanting to Love Sharon olds and then i don’t and some of her poems are 0 and some of her poems i find subtly problematic under the guise of being intimate and personal and confessional like maybe you didn’t have to publish that? I Don’t Knowat least bc this is selected works throughout her life u can see her development in these writings lol i can recognise how good she is just a lot of them don’t Tie me so Emotiknally and Closely like i want poetry To Do also a lot of sexually explicit stuff about how Men Are Incredible And The Best and I am a Woman and I am My Mother he is My Father How he Sweats He is My God His Penis and my Dad and also his Penis i found kinda odd to Read and Perhaps i’m not used to reading stuff like it I feel i will like her in 20 years cause of all the mother poetry also which for a lot of i just switch off at haha bc unrealtion😔

About the Author: Sharon Olds

Born in San Francisco on November 19 1942 Sharon Olds earned a BA at Stanford University and a PhD at Columbia UniversityHer first collection of poems Satan Says 1980 received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award Olds's following collection The Dead & the Living 1983 received the Lamont Poetry Selection in 1983 and the National Book Critics Circle AwardHer other collect

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