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I Go Back to May 1937 Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

In the following interview, Olds discusses her books of poetry and the way she approaches writing.

Domesticity, death, erotic love—the stark simplicity of Sharon Olds' subjects, and of her plainspoken language, can sometimes make her seem like the brooding Earth Mother of American poetry. ("I have learned to get pleasure," Olds wrote in her last book, "from speaking of pain.") In photographs she tends to look somewhat dark and remote, too; there's a sense of brewing drama. She seems a natural heir to such melancholy talents as Ann Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

It's a happy surprise, then, to discover that the 54-year-old Olds is anything but withdrawn and more-serious-than-thou. In fact, she comes across as a bundle of nervous energy, slightly neurotic, a bit like an intellectual Julie Haggerty. It's the end of the semester at New York University, where Olds has taught in the Graduate Creative...

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This section contains 4,718 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our I Go Back to May 1937 Study Guide
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I Go Back to May 1937 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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