Sharon Olds admits in interview: “almost never” gets writer’s block, writes poems “when they come to me”

By | 3 February 2024

Oh! That’s a big bird!
What is it?
Is that a pigeon?
I can’t see it
from here.
It’s a hawk!
It’s a buteo.
Right up on the porch
rail of that building.
See where I’m pointing?
Look at the brick
building and then go up
to the upper-left
corner of it.
It’s a big hawk.
Such a hawk head.
You can see that?
Your eyesight is
No, it’s not.
It’s just that it’s a hawk.
What does it mean
that we’ve been visited
by a hawk?
It means
there’s one more
hawk in New York City
than I knew about.
Now it appears
to be looking
up. I would think
when it’s up
high like that
it would look
down for a
Hawks fly downward
at their prey
and they go at, like,
two hundred miles an hour
and it’s called a stoop.
That’s a verb.
Hawks stoop
onto their prey…
Look at that tail going
that’s what peregrine falcons do!
it’s a peregrine falcon!
we could talk
right here.
Why don’t you bring
your recorder over?
Okay, so we were talking
about revision.
I actually wanted to ask—
Don’t get too close
to the window too fast.
I don’t want to scare it.
It’s a really little tree.
The tree wiggles
when the hawk
This hawk is in
a tiny bonsai.
They often shift
their weight
when they’re about
to fly.
Oh, don’t fly

This found poem was taken brick for brick from an interview with Sharon Olds by Jessica Laser from
the Paris Review in New York City (Summer 2023 issue)

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