Bookshop Window: The Father - Sharon Olds: Secker & Warburg, pounds 6

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The Independent Culture
The American poet Sharon Olds received rave reviews for The Sign of Saturn: Poems 1980-87. Her new collection is a risky venture - an entire book about the death of her father - but like Peter Redgrove, Olds has such an uncanny sense of the fusion of the physical and spiritual that she never runs out of things to say. She sees her father as being reclaimed by the material kingdom, 'the trance of matter', and unlike Peter Reading, in his cancer book, C, Olds finds glory in some of the manifestations of disease. she says: 'Well, it's fun talking about this, / I love the terms of foulness', and the book is crammed with radiant descriptions of urine and phlegm seen as holy relics of the last of life.