The Dead and the Living

The Dead and the Living

by Sharon Olds


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The 1983 Lamont poetry selection of the Academy of American Poets.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394715636
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1984
Series: Poetry Series
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 323,884
Product dimensions: 5.66(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.33(d)

About the Author

Sharon Olds was born in 1942, in San Francisco, and educated at Stanford University and Columbia University. Her first book of poems, Satan Says (1980), received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Her second, The Dead and the Living, was both the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983 and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and in the N.Y.U. workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York. More recently she was awarded the Walt Whitman Citation for Merit by the New York State Writers Institute of the State University of New York. The citation officially invested her with the title of New York State Poet for 1998-2000.

Table of Contents

Part 1Poems for the Dead
Photograph of the Girl6
Race Riot, Tulsa, 19217
Portrait of a Child8
Nevsky Prospekt9
The Death of Marilyn Monroe10
The Issues11
Aesthetics of the Shah12
Things That Are Worse Than Death13
The Guild17
Grandmother Love Poem18
The Eye19
Birthday Poem for My Grandmother20
Of All the Dead That Have Come to Me, This Once21
Farewell Poem22
The Winter After Your Death24
The End26
Best Friends27
Absent One28
Part 2Poems for the Living
IThe Family
The Victims34
The Forms35
The Departure36
Burn Center37
The Ideal Father38
My Father Snoring41
The Moment42
My Father's Breasts43
The Takers44
The Pact45
The Derelict46
Late Speech with My Brother47
The Elder Sister48
IIThe Men
The Connoisseuse of Slugs51
Poem to My First Lover52
New Mother53
The Line54
The Fear of Oneself55
Poem to My Husband from My Father's Daughter56
Sex Without Love57
IIIThe Children
Six-Year-Old Boy62
Size and Sheer Will64
For My Daughter65
Rite of Passage66
Pre-Adolescent in Spring69
Blue Son70
The Killer72
The Sign of Saturn73
The Missing Boy76
The One Girl at the Boys' Party79
The Couple80

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The Dead and the Living 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
wrmjr66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based on this book, Olds is a good poet. She comes up with stirring images and her analogies are usually apt. She is a bit sentimental for my taste, though that may have much to do with the subject matter. She is also intensely carnal, both in her images and in the topics of her poems. There were times when this interest veered into creepy territory (at least from my vantage point). I would read more of her work.
Caffeinated on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a poet's poet; all about the imagery and metaphor. However, the emotions are clear and strong and passionate, which makes this one of my favorites. (4 1/2)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sharon Olds has her finger on the joyous pulse of motherhood and on the fading pulse of death. For readers who have been forced to experience both at the same time she is a voice for the emotions they feel but may be unable to articulate for themselves. Her poem,The Line, left me thunder struck. It encapsulated how I felt when I learned my wife was dying from cancer-A voice for what I felt but could not express in words.