A literary analysis of the poem late poem to my father by sharon olds

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A literary analysis of the poem late poem to my father by sharon olds

Moreover, one must read them all: This is not a collection for browsing, shot through with random epiphanies for the dilettante poetry reader with a pile of collections beside an armchair.

This series is an organic whole, each poem drawing its power from the others and from its position in the series, despite the fact that many of them were first published separately in such venues as The New Yorker, Poetry, and Antaeus.

Earlier collections, including Satan SaysThe Dead and the Livingand The Gold Celldemonstrate a daring that is more an invasive form of psychological realism than it is a confessional mode. The previous collections are more heterogeneous, though, and allow the reader more respite from the realities of death and loss.

The chain of events is retold in minute detail, from the final days in the hospital through the death and funeral to the voice of the introjected father years later speaking to his daughter in dream and reverie.

The reader is spared nothing but is given the particulars of hospital life, details of the subtle changes that encroaching death brings, nuances of relationships that are revealed in a gesture, word, or touch. What comes forth most strongly is the physical, the importance of the body in all relationships.

The series of poems is a familial love story, leaving the bereaved poet and the reader with only the consolation that the earth provides, that of memory and familial continuity.

I love your bony shoulders and you know I love your hair, thick and live as earth. The daughter accepts that her father is now a part of her, existing in her flesh and nerves.

As he explains at the end of the poem, this kind of material continuity will have to suffice.

A literary analysis of late poem to my father by sharon olds

It seems fair to begin at the end in discussing this book, for this is what Olds does: There are only two important figures in the book, the father and the daughter.

The intense focus, however, is on the father and the daughter as he disappears into her: Finally, he is wholly there, contained inside her. His death is a kind of unbirth, and the imagery that surrounds it is physical and sexual.

A literary analysis of the poem late poem to my father by sharon olds

In fact, what stands out most in this collection is the uncompromising presence of the physical, from the beginning to the end of this narrative of dying. The father is the body of the father, inhabited or uninhabited.

Others take comfort in religion, but the daughter cannot. The entire section is 1, words. Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your hour free trial to unlock this 9-page The Father study guide and get instant access to the following: Analysis You'll also get access to more than 30, additional guides andHomework Help questions answered by our experts.Sharon Olds’ poem “Late Poem to My Father” exposes the profound effect that childhood trauma can have on someone, even in adulthood.

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Late Poem to My Father