Odes by Sharon Olds

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These odes, because they illuminate what it is to live inside a body and survive its outrages, are useful – and beautiful too.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Following the Pulitzer prize-winning collection Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds gives us a stunning book of odes. Opening with the powerful and tender “Ode to the Hymen,” Olds addresses and embodies, in this age-old poetic form, many aspects of love and gender and sexual politics in a collection that is centered on the body and its structures and pleasures. The poems extend parts of her narrative as a daughter, mother, wife, lover, friend, and poet of conscience that will be familiar from earlier collections, each episode and memory burnished by the wisdom and grace and humor of looking back. In such poems as “Ode to My Sister,” “Ode of Broken Loyalty,” “Ode to My Whiteness,” “Blow Job Ode,” and “Ode to the Last Thirty-Eight Trees in New York City Visible from This Window,” Olds treats us to an intimate examination that, like all her work, is universal, by turns searing and charming in its honesty. From the bodily joys and sorrows of childhood to the deaths of those dearest to us, Olds shapes the world in language that is startlingly fresh, profound in its conclusions, and life-giving for the reader.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Sharon Olds

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Sharon Olds is Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. Her most recent book of poems is "One Secret Thing", which is currently short-listed for the Forward Poetry Prize in The U.K.
 
Published September 20, 2016 by Knopf. 128 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Odes
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Sep 26 2016

Her new book, “Odes,” picks up where “Stag’s Leap” left off, which is to say that it contains some of the best and most ingenious poems of her career...There is a good deal of lesser work in “Odes.” When Ms. Olds’s poems miss, they really miss,

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Kate Kellaway on Oct 11 2016

These odes, because they illuminate what it is to live inside a body and survive its outrages, are useful – and beautiful too.

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