Olds illustrates this theme through the tone of the poem, which is achieved by imagistic language, rhyme and rhythm. In this poem the speaker is illustrated through two points of view, first as a child then as an adult reflecting back on a troublesome childhood experience. As the speakers point of view changes so does the use of poetic devices.
Sharon Olds — American poet. Sharon Olds is known for poetry in which she uses an intensely personal voice to explore themes of domestic violence, sexuality, and family relationships.
In much of her verse, she examines her roles as daughter and mother, rendering painfully ambivalent memories of her parents in unsentimental, brutally honest, and often sexually explicit language.
In addition to exploring family life, Olds expresses sorrow and outrage for victims of war and political violence. Many critics have noted that her focus on both domestic and public abuse evinces the universal scope of her poetic vision. She completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in and received a Ph.
From untilOlds was a lecturer-in-residence on poetry at the Theodor Herzl Institute and has subsequently held numerous teaching and lecturing posts at various universities and writing conferences. Olds has also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University and has been involved in the administration of the NYU workshop program for the physically disabled.
In the title poem, Olds juxtaposes sexually charged imagery with feelings of outrage toward her parents, particularly her abusive father.
In purging herself of violent emotions, however, the narrator unexpectedly moves toward love and reconciliation. In other poems in the collection, Olds celebrates motherhood and the experience of childbirth. In "The Language of the Brag," for example, Olds writes: These poems center on such characters as a Chinese man about to be executed and a starving Russian girl.
In "The Issue," a poem about racial tension in Rhodesia, Olds, after describing a black baby who has been bayoneted, declares: In particular, Olds emphasizes the primacy of the body.
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In the poem "This," for example, Olds writes: Olds expresses both her compassion for and anger toward her father, using scatological and sexually explicit language to describe the deterioration of his body, which becomes a metaphor for his dismal failings as a parent. Part one focuses on childhood, part two on sexual awakenings, part three on motherhood, and part four on love and mortality.
Satan Says, in particular, has been criticized for its explicit language, violent imagery, and strident tone. Critics generally agree, however, that in most of her subsequent books, Olds gained control of her emotional topics, creating a more restrained, though still disturbing, vision of humanity.
Commentators have also faulted Olds for what they consider her repetitive and predictable subject matter and her underdeveloped connections between public and private cruelties.
Despite these objections, Olds has been widely praised for her compelling narration, inventive use of metaphor, and scrupulous honesty in rendering extremely personal emotions and experiences.The Underlying Theme of Abuse in Sharon Old's Poem"The Victims" PAGES 2.
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