Sharon Olds Poems
- The Unborn Sometimes I can almost see, around our ...
- The Victims When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took ...
- 1954 Then dirt scared me, because of the dirt he had put on ...
- The Borders To say that she came into me, from another ...
- The Clasp She was four, he was one, it was raining, we had ...
- May 1968 When the Dean said we could not cross campus until ...
- The End We decided to have the abortion, became killers ...
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... more »
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Quotationsmore quotations »
... 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 ...
Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.
Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber - servants, half-
Listening for the bell.
Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office
And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.