It’s the birthday of poet Sharon Olds | Writer’s Almanac

It’s the birthday of poet Sharon Olds (books by this author), born in San Francisco (1942). When she was eight years old, her teacher asked the students to write poems, and Olds handed in a poem she had read in the post office, which began: “Neither wind nor rain nor gloom nor dark of night …” When the teacher demanded to know whether she has written it, she explained that of course she had, because it was in her handwriting. It was the first time she realized that writing a poem meant actually making it up, not just writing it down. She said: “My early influences for good writing were the Psalms, and for bad writing were the Hymns. Four beats, the quatrains, that form. […] I didn’t know until I was 55 that my craft was the craft of the Hymns I had grown up singing. I was writing in a way that felt comfortable to me.”

Source: The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

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