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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review of Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds

Confessional poetry never caught my imagination. But I do remember some breathtaking exceptions. I’m thinking of the intensity of Sylvia Plath’s Daddy and W.D. Snodgrass’ affecting Heart’s Needle. That’s a bit of my background and part of my peculiar bias.

 Sharon Olds’ 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning collection entitled Stag’s Leap (the name and cover logo borrowed from a cheesy wine bottle trademark) spotlights all the worst faults of confessional poetry with few off-setting virtues. One of this book’s blurbs calls Stag’s Leap a “stunningly poignant sequence…contemplative and deep.” I find the same sequence, for the most part, pathetic shallow pabulum. For more of my review go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2014/01/stags-leap-by-sharon-olds.html

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