Motherhood & Words

Knopf poetry and Sharon Olds

As you all know, it’s National Poetry Month. And I hope you all know that Knopf will e-mail you one poem every day for the whole month! Yesterday, what was sitting in my inbox? The wonderful “Looking At Them Asleep” by Sharon Olds. So perfect for me right now.

It ends:

oh my Lord how I know
these two. When love comes to me and says
What do you know, I say This girl, this boy.

Read it here.

She got me, again.

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. kyra on April 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    i love that sharon olds. i’ve been thinking of posting one of her poems that’s been very much on my mind recently. and then it was read at a weekly writing workshop and the following week, i heard sharon read it herself.

  2. Ines on April 18, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Oh! what a wonderful experience to get to hear Sharon Olds read one of her poems! For me it is as magical as hearing live music…(for instance Yo-yo Ma).
    Thank you, Kate for posting about opportunity to have access to poetry so easily of course I have books but they are at home…
    And, I hope you are feeling better…

  3. kate on April 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Kyra, lucky duck!

    Ines, you’re welcome!