The Unswept Room is a dazzling collection of poems that project a fresh spirit, a startling energy of language and rhythm, and a moving, elegiac tone shot through with humour. From poems that erupt out of history and childhood to those that embody the nurturing of a new generation of children and the transformative power of marital love, Sharon Olds takes risks, writing boldly of physical and emotional sensations seldom confronted in poetry.
These are poems that strike for the heart, as Sharon Olds captures our imaginations with unexpected word play, sprung rhythms and the disquieting revelations of ordinary life. Writing at the peak of her powers, this greatly admired poet gives us her finest collection.
Her best work exhibits a lyrical acuity which is both purifying and redemptive. She sees description as a means to catharsis, and the end result is impossible to forget - her poetry is remarkable for its candour, its eroticism, and its power to move
The attention to line, the superbly focused detail, the way her autobiographical material strikes, shines, deepens, spreads: this, surely, is the sound the confessional hordes have been trying to utter since Lowell, the right road that is missed so easily
Olds remains too little-known in the UK... readers new to her will be astounded
If any reading is 'essential', this is it