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Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

Sharon Olds
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Life

Sharon Olds was born in 1942 in San Francisco. She was raised as a “hellfire Calvinist”, as she describes it. She says she was by nature "a pagan and a pantheist" and notes "I was in a church where there was both great literary art and bad literary art, the great art being psalms and the bad art being hymns. The four-beat was something that was just part of my consciousness from before I was born." She adds "I think I was about 15 when I conceived of myself as an atheist, but I think it was only very recently that I can really tell that there's nobody there with a copybook making marks against your name." After graduating from Stanford University she moved east to earn a ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ... to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, lo...
    Sharon Olds (b. 1942), U.S. poet. As quoted in Listen to Their Voices, ch. 18 (1993). On why writing poetry, though "always difficult," is easier ...
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Comments about Sharon Olds

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  • Rookie - 176 Points Bill Grace (1/16/2012 11:01:00 PM)

    This woman haunts me and I have never met her! But here are four of her book titles: The Unswept Room, The Dead and the Living, Satan Says, Blood, Tin, Straw She is frankly an indictment of the Poemhunter site because there is no word of which she is afraid. We had her Sex without Love on our front page (Poemhunter) and this has been lost. She has taught me to be a little less afraid and a little more honest in my writing. Well worth an investment of any sort. Bill Grace in San Antonio, Texas

  • Rookie Judy Meibach (5/1/2010 5:28:00 PM)

    I have heard a lot about Sharon Olds lately - I would like to listen to her speak or to read - her poem 1954 evoked so many feelings in me - I really loved it - and would like to read more as I could understand her better.

  • Rookie Pilar Mogollon (1/12/2009 4:43:00 AM)

    Sharon Olds is absolutely brilliant, her letter to Laura Bush was poetry itself, and honest and I am so glad she refused to break bread with them. I wonder who publishes her poems here, I would like to see the poem Language of the Brag.

  • Rookie Robert Casady (10/25/2006 5:32:00 PM)

    I appreciate Ms. Olds' right to have an opinion, but she should do some research: it is not 'Bush's war', it was approved by Congress; the facts behind the decision were documented by virtually every country in the world; WMD were found, by the way. She obviously sees the good in people, but needs to also see the 'bad' in people.... those who are trying to kill us. I know she did not want 9/11, but what does she suggest to stop it from happening again? Does she prefer to see Americans die rather than torture a terrorist who kills women and children. She needs to come down out of her ivory tower.

  • Rookie Carol Kambanis (11/15/2005 2:54:00 AM)

    Oh, THANK YOU, thank you for not attending the affair w Laura Bush as an example of discontent with the war in Iraq! ! ! This whole thing is NOT the America I love and have always respected.

  • Rookie Jillanne Foster (1/9/2005 7:35:00 PM)

    Sharon Olds awoke me from the buzz of background noise. Yes, there is a poet who sees through more than just their eyes and ears. I let out the sigh for all who feel more.

  • Rookie Shahadatur Rahman Sohel (12/28/2004 9:02:00 AM)

    I Like This Website Very Much & This Poem Also

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