Sharon Olds Archive
In her skin-piercing style, Sharon Olds demonstrates that legitimacy doesn’t always come from support and encouragement. Proof of existence, of value, can sometimes come from the darkest places.
I stumbled across Donald Hall’s “The Third Thing,” an essay on his marriage to fellow poet Jane Kenyon, before my wedding. Hall’s measured tone and rich details came in sharp contrast to all of the bridal materials I was bombarded with, and brought marriage back to life for me.
“As” is a love poem, after all. It’s a sidelong devotion—all wordplay and switchbacks. Its essence is decocted from its original artifacts, lost and now found, a reverse transit of its multiple parasitic meanings. It feels something like being in the archives, in a family, in love.
In the basement of three small theaters in Massachusetts lives a collection of some of humankind’s worst artistic efforts: the Museum of Bad Art. Everything in the collection is gloriously, earnestly bad (the curators reject anything that seems bad by intention). You can go there. You should. The photograph