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Welcome to my blog. I share new writing every Monday. 

Reading Sharon Olds

If you're curious about poetry, you don't need to start with the serious classics or sonnets written in old english. You also don't need to know anything about poetry to start reading poetry.

You can start with 'Ode to the Tampon'.

Seriously.

Or 'Ode to the Condom'.

Both are written by Sharon Olds, and are found in her latest collection Odes, which is a great place to start reading poetry for two reasons: it will challenge any pre-conceived notions you have about what is a fit and proper subject for poetry; and odes won't leave you blankly staring at the page feeling like you missed the bus.

An ode is a poem that typically celebrates a single thing, whether that be a person, place, object or idea. The subject of the poem, as in 'Ode to the Tampon', is often in the name of the poem, which is very comforting. Some poems, you can sit up straight, pay attention, read the whole thing from start to finish and feel completely lost.  With odes, it's like someone has handed you a map and given you some hand gestured directions. You have at least a vague sense of where you are and what direction you're heading.

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