Sharon Olds

Born: November 19, 1942

Occupation: Poet

Quotes of Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds

I did not deceive him, he did not deceive me, I did not leave him, he did not leave me, I freed him, he freed me.

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Sharon Olds

I did not know him, I knew my idea of him.

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Sharon Olds

There is something in me maybe someday to be written; now it is folded, and folded, and folded, like a note in school.

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Sharon Olds

... sometimes I can feel it, the way we are pouring slowly toward a curve and around it through something dark and soft, and we are bound to each other.

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Sharon Olds

I have never thought I could take it, not even for the children. It is all I have wanted to do, to stand between them and and pain. But I come from a long line of women who put themselves first.

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Sharon Olds

The older I get, the more I feel

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Sharon Olds

I have heard about the civilized, the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But and I are savages.

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Sharon Olds

Seeing yourself as responsible for the quality of your relationship, as a prime mover in your life, I think is a bold, amazing step.

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Sharon Olds

Their spirits and their visions are embodied in their craft. And so is mine. It's not Jane Saw Puff. But the clarity of Jane Saw Puff is precious to me.

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Sharon Olds

Once you lose someone it is never exactly the same person who comes back.

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Sharon Olds

So I did quit coffee and I did quit smoking. But I haven't managed that with drinking!

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Sharon Olds

Baseball is reassuring. It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up.

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Sharon Olds

She'd crack A joke sharp as a tin lid Hot from the teeth of the can-opener, And cackle her crack-corn laugh.

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Sharon Olds

Writing or making anything-a poem, a bird feeder, a chocolate cake-has self-respect in it. You're working. You're trying. You're not lying down on the ground, having given up.

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Sharon Olds

The older I get, the more I see the power of that young woman, my mother.

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Sharon Olds

When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up. Even when it's I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side of the leaver.

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Sharon Olds

Because a poem is not written while running or while answering the phone. It's written in whatever minutes one has. Sometimes you have half an hour.

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Sharon Olds

Everyone is so different. I sometimes wish I wrote in a different way. You know, that feeling of: So-and-so writes slowly, if only I wrote slowly.

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Sharon Olds

Every poet I know - although there may be some I don't know who lead very different lives, who maybe live in the country and don't teach - tends to be just like the rest of us: just really busy, really...

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Sharon Olds

At one point I took on a new job, and I just didn't have time to do anything but work.

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Sharon Olds

I didn't have time to sit down and look at the work of a year and choose what to type.

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Sharon Olds

I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me.

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Sharon Olds

I think that my work is easy to understand because I am not a thinker, I am not a... How can I put it? I write the way I perceive, I guess.

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Sharon Olds

I wish I wrote more about the world at more distance from myself.

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Sharon Olds

I'm not sure that the benefit - as a writer and as a citizen - that I would get from reading at least the front page of the Times every day or every other day would outweigh the depression.

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Sharon Olds

I'm probably so out of it at my age that I don't know what people think.

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Sharon Olds

If I wrote in a sonnet form, I would be distorting. Or if I had some great new idea for line breaks and I used it in a poem, but it's really not right for that poem, but I wanted it, that would be distorting.

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Sharon Olds

The teaching is very rewarding, and very time-consuming, and very exhausting. But it's wonderful. The community here at NYU is very precious to me.

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Sharon Olds

It might be a bad thing, not to know what's going on in the world. I can't say I really approve of it.

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Sharon Olds

My poems - I don't even like the sound of that, in a way. Not that anyone else wrote them. But we know that only people who are really close to us care about our personal experience.

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Sharon Olds

Maybe we can use a metaphor for it, out of dance. I think for many years I was aware of the need, in dance and in life, to breathe deeply and to take in more air than we usually take in.

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Sharon Olds

Many poets write books. They'll tell you: Well, I've got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me.

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Sharon Olds

The amount of horror one used to hear about in one village could be quite extreme. But one might not have heard about all the other villages' horrors at the same time.

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Sharon Olds

To me, the mind seems to be spread out in the whole body - the senses are part of the brain. I guess they're not where the thinking is done.

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Sharon Olds

This creature of the poem may assemble itself into a being with its own centrifugal force.

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Sharon Olds

We're all taking on too much, we're all asking too much of ourselves. We're all wishing we could do more, and therefore just doing more.

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Sharon Olds

Who wants to put together something that will bear some relationship to the vision or memory or experience or story or idea or dream or whatever.

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Sharon Olds

Well, one thing I'm really interested in, when I'm writing, is being accurate.

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Sharon Olds

When I quit all these things and said I didn't have any time, I meant I didn't have any time.

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Sharon Olds

Poems come from ordinary experiences and objects, I think. Out of memory - a dress I lent my daughter on her way back to college; a newspaper photograph of war; a breast self-exam; the tooth fairy; Calvinist...

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Sharon Olds

Maybe in order to understand sex fully/one has to risk being destroyed by it.

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Sharon Olds

A family is a mystery.

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Sharon Olds

it is forbidden to love where we are not loved

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Sharon Olds

I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.

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Sharon Olds

The decision for me was whether to have 'The Father' be a book that told a story - from the point of view of this speaker, the daughter - without, as in the earlier books, then having a section on something...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss