She also says:
‘I think for me the impulse to write has to do with making something, with capturing, recording, preserving, honouring, saving - or not turning away from, if it's a ghastly human thing one is driven to write about.’ And what does it offer the reader? She laughs. ‘Well . . . companionship. And pleasure: musical pleasure, in hearing it - and, to the inner ear, in reading it on the page. And recognition: “Someone else has felt what I've felt.” And surprise: “I never thought of that.” Reading poems can give us information about emotional states, or subjects, give us virtual experience which may be very different from our own. Yes! Maybe this is it! I think that the arts are for showing us ourselves -Have any of you read much of Sharon Olds’s work? I’ve read everything that is in Wellington Public Library – which isn’t much. Actually, that’s a lie, because while I started reading The Father, I couldn’t finish reading it. It just repulsed me. It’s about watching her father die of cancer. It was just too much for me.
including what's dangerous about us - holding a mirror up to nature.’
But I really, really loved The Wellspring, and I think it’s been a really important book for me. It reads like a sort of autobiography, starting with the narrator’s parents, and then tracing through her life. I’m a bit hesitant to definitely identify the narrator with the poet, because she herself keeps a bit of distance there.
Olds is particularly known for her poetry about sex – she writes with an honesty that some people think borders on pornographic. What I have read so far has just been truthful, honest and real.
Note to self, read more of Sharon Olds’s poetry.