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Sunday, August 7, 2011

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 parents who beat up their children; a gesture of love; seeing oneself naked over age 50 in a set of bright hotel bathroom mirrors."

American Poet
1942 -

From where does your art come?  As Sharon Olds says, it often comes from the ordinary experiences and objects in our lives.  Poets often find the smallest moments from which to form their poems.  It may be a simple conversation between two people, or a flower laying on a gravestone, or meeting an old friend at the supermarket.  The common place and the everyday is what forms the basis of art.

Where does your art come from?  Is it rooted in reality?  The everyday?  Do you take the smallest of moments and build on them?  Painters capture moments in time?  A brief look at reality?  What holds your attention?  Not everyone paints the same subjects.  We choose different subjects.  Some people paint fields and others paint people.  What fascinates you about the world in which you live?  What demands that you paint it again and again?

Here is a poem by Sharon Olds.  

Grandmother Love Poem
by Sharon Olds

Late in her life, when we fell in love,
I'd take her out from the nursing home
for a chaser and two bourbons.  She'd crack
a joke sharp as a tin lid
hot from the teeth of the can-opener,
and cackle her crack-corn laugh.  Next to her
wit, she prided herself on her hair,
snowy and abundant.  She would lift it up
at the nape of the neck, there in the bar,
and under the white, under the salt-and-
pepper, she'd show me her true color,
the color it was when she was a bride:
like her sex in the smoky light she would show me
the pure black.