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Sharon Olds

(b. 1942)


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(1942– ),

American poet, born in San Francisco, educated at Stanford and Columbia Universities, now resident in New York. Her earlier collections include Satan Says (1980), The Dead and the Living (1984), and The Gold Cell (1987). The Sign of Saturn was published in Britain in 1991, where her reputation has since been firmly established. Olds is widely regarded as heir to the confessional tradition of R. Lowell, Plath, and Sexton. Her fluid, descriptive free‐verse forms are consistently rich in metaphor, and display her power to transform an often harsh reality through startling imagery into the kind of art that transcends the personal. Olds's many studies of her parents and her children include The Father (1992), which is the poetic narrative of her father's illness and death from cancer. The Wellspring (1996) explores themes of sex, love, and mortality, and continues the poet's celebratory expression of life and the redemptive power of love. Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980–2002 appeared in 2004.

Subjects: Literature.


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