Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds

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Pages: 4
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Essay Database > Literature > English
Sharon Olds’ poem, "Sex without Love", quite passionately expresses the poet's attitude toward loveless sex as a cold and hurtful act. She accomplishes this through her use of various poetic techniques which evoke clear images in the reader. Her opening words, "How do they do it,...", do not simply offer question, but carry a negative connotation of the speaker shaking her head and throwing up her hands in a disgusted manner. Reminiscent of a mother …

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…each is alone in the universe and ‘competing’ against “its own best time”. Upon initial reading of this poem, one could see it initially as a favorable story of casual sex, but the irony is driven home by second half of Olds’ poem and her continued reference to the cold and aloneness, revealing her opinions quite clearly. Through this poem, Sharon Olds, has expressed her complete disrespect for those who would participate in casual sex.