Sharon Olds | Critical Essay by Brian Sutton

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Sharon Olds.
This section contains 705 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Louise Glück

Critical Review by Richard Tillinghast

SOURCE: "Blunt Instruments," in The Nation, New York, Vol. 239, No. 11, October 13, 1984, pp. 361-63.

Tillinghast is an American poet whose work exhibits his skill with varied poetic styles including, like Olds, confessional and political poetry. In the following excerpt in which he reviews The Dead and the Living, he compares Olds's poems to Sylvia Plath's and suggests that although Olds's work is flawed, its overall impact is powerful.

A brutalized childhood is the storm center around which the poems in Sharon Olds's second book, The Dead and the Living …, furiously revolve. The actors in the drama are indelibly drawn….

Olds's attempts, however, to establish political analogies to private brutalization … are not very convincing. For one thing, Sylvia Plath did the same thing earlier, and did it better. In "The Departure," Olds asks her father, "Did you weep like...

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This section contains 705 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Louise Glück