Poet Sharon Old

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Poet Sharon Olds There is a gritty beauty in the works of poet Sharon Olds. The work can be disturbing, gut-churning, overtly sexual and even obscene depending on one’s sensibilities. She combines some grotesque, surreal images in her writings; they are based on her personal history and background. Olds’ work is not TOO private to be public; it is publicized private pain than can either repel others or help them to heal. Olds’ work has a therapeutic component to it. This paper will link the blatantly sexual content of Olds’ work with her recurring subject of family to show how those who suffered from early childhood sexual abuse and/or incestuous relationships might find solace, identification and camaraderie through reading Olds’ texts.…show more content…
Though she had an intensely religious upbringing, she claimed atheism at age fifteen. Olds graduated from Stanford University them moved to the East Coast to undergo doctoral studies on the work of Emerson after she achieved that degree, she took a left turn from the traditional poetry, both form and subject. “Freed up, she began to write about her family, abuse, sex, focusing on the work not the audience. Old's first collection, Satan Says, sets up the sexual and bodily candor that would run through much of her work” (poemhunter.com, 2014). It is as though once Olds had done her scholarly duty by the masters of traditional poetry, she broke into a path of personal disclosure and unbearable pain, complete with the brutal imagery and coarse dialogue that have come to define her

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