Sharon Olds Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Sharon Olds Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Sharon Olds’s signature poems are autobiographical lyrics, many of them charged with eroticism, violence, or both. She writes frequently about her sadistic father; her victimized mother; her unhappy sister and brother; her loving, lusty husband; and her son and daughter. The best of these poems are fluid, startling in their immediacy, and filled with remarks on the genitals of her family members. Her sometimes perversely comic poems about her beastly father conjure up a contemporary version of Sylvia Plath’s famous poem “Daddy.” However, Olds’s obsessive poems about her father—who, according to one poem, tied her to a chair and denied her food—are more blatantly autobiographical than Plath’s. In the course of her...

(The entire section is 3681 words.)