Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review of "Suddenly" by Sharon Olds

"Suddenly" by Sharon Olds was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on November 5, 2013.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:


Sharon Olds, PhD (b. 1942) was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her poetry collection Stag's Leap.      She was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 1998 to 2000.  She teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University.  She has published numerous poetry collections and has been anthologized hundreds of times.  A detailed biography may be found here:


"Suddenly" is an elegy to the poet Ruth Stone (1915 - 2011) (pictured).  There is quite a bit in it about Stone's breasts.  While I understand the metaphor--that she nourished her fellow female poets and was in a sense their "mother"--I found the imagery in an elegy a bit disturbing if not inappropriate.  Then again, I did not know her--maybe she would have appreciated it.

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