The Unswept Room

The Unswept Room

Book - 2002
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From Sharon Olds--a stunning new collection of poems that project a fresh spirit, a startling energy of language and counterpoint, and a moving, elegiac tone shot through with humor.

From poems that erupt out of history and childhood to those that embody the nurturing of a new generation of children and the transformative power of marital love, Sharon Olds takes risks, writing boldly of physical, emotional, and spiritual sensations that are seldom the stuff of poetry.

These are poems that strike for the heart, as Sharon Olds captures our imagination with unexpected wordplay, sprung rhythms, and the disquieting revelations of ordinary life. Writing at the peak of her powers, this greatly admired poet gives us her finest collection.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2002.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780375414893
Branch Call Number: 811.54 OLDS S
Characteristics: ix, 123 pages ; 22 cm.


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RogerDeBlanck Jul 24, 2018

Sharon Olds epitomizes a poet who unearths her life and exposes her soul, grating both of them clean. The honesty and candor in which she pursues her subject matter is akin to an excavation. She digs deep to locate the bone and marrow of experience, and she simultaneously resurrects her life through the manifold pains she has endured and also those she has brought upon herself. She spares no one in talking about her abuse as a child. But her poetry is not exclusively about sorrow. It is equally about pleasure, bliss, and love. She holds nothing back in regard to examining what love means, whether it is parental, familial, or spousal love. Her aim is often transformative: to be for her family and children what her parents were not for her. She wants to tell her secrets in order to understand and overcome her pain. Each of her poems, therefore, mesmerizes with how she can embody a captivating story, whether it is exploring the rigors of life, confronting the past, raising children, growing older, or adapting to the unpredictability of love. The language she employs is rapturous and oftentimes seismic in its depth and range. In trying to bear and suffer through everything, Sharon Olds not only confronts life, she hopes for a better one. Ultimately, her poetry is about redemption. The Unswept Room is an extraordinary collection.


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