Olds: Engaged Poetry

For the homework assignment for Monday, I looked at the Sharon Olds poem and decided it had some engaged elements, perhaps, though like Emily said about Merwin, I feel the same way that I don’t think it fits into this anthology; however, it’s a beautiful poem but I would call it a lukewarm engagement — I think the person reading it would have to work a bit hard to make the connection that it’s an engaged piece, but I thought I found some connections. Again, I didn’t think it seemed like a good fit compared to a lot of the other poems like “Sweet” or “Happy Anniversary” because it didn’t seem to directly call out something happening politically in America at the time, ┬ábut it was more-so a “small-scaled” event in Sharon Olds’ life that happened simultaneously with 911. Perhaps this is entirely the wrong interpretation, but this is what I gathered from my overview! Thoughts?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Olds: Engaged Poetry

  1. Zhiyuan Meng says:

    I think this is an interesting thought. I also read this poem and interpreted it in a different way. In my opinion, Sharon Olds talks about her personal experiences mainly for two reasons. Firstly, this fits Sharon Olds’ poetry style – confessional. Olds always recounts her own experiences and uses these materials to achieve ends. Secondly, I think it is quite difficult to capture the trauma that people went through during the attacks if one was not personally in that situation. Therefore, it is very easily for poets and other writers to not accurately depicts the feelings and thoughts of those traumatized people. I think what Olds tries to do is to use her own experiences to conclude a path that people have to go through after traumas. The gist for the poem is even though people may need time to recover from the past, what they should really focus on is the present. Cherishing the moments and being grateful for life are important things to do and right lifestyle to strive for.

Leave a Reply