The 1983 Lamont poetry selection of the Academy of American Poets.
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 1||Poems for the Dead|
|Photograph of the Girl||6|
|Race Riot, Tulsa, 1921||7|
|Portrait of a Child||8|
|The Death of Marilyn Monroe||10|
|Aesthetics of the Shah||12|
|Things That Are Worse Than Death||13|
|Grandmother Love Poem||18|
|Birthday Poem for My Grandmother||20|
|Of All the Dead That Have Come to Me, This Once||21|
|The Winter After Your Death||24|
|Part 2||Poems for the Living|
|The Ideal Father||38|
|My Father Snoring||41|
|My Father's Breasts||43|
|Late Speech with My Brother||47|
|The Elder Sister||48|
|The Connoisseuse of Slugs||51|
|Poem to My First Lover||52|
|The Fear of Oneself||55|
|Poem to My Husband from My Father's Daughter||56|
|Sex Without Love||57|
|Size and Sheer Will||64|
|For My Daughter||65|
|Rite of Passage||66|
|Pre-Adolescent in Spring||69|
|The Sign of Saturn||73|
|The Missing Boy||76|
|The One Girl at the Boys' Party||79|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Dead and the Living based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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.
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)
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.