20 January 2013 12:32 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

If only more writers were like the poet Sharon Olds and realised that discretion is better than endless revelation

The poems in Stag's Leap, the collection that has just won Sharon Olds the Ts Eliot prize, were written years ago, but not published until much later. The delay, Olds has explained, was to protect her family. The poems document the end of her 32-year marriage, when her husband left for another woman, and Olds promised her children not to write about it for "at least 10 years". In the end, it was 15; the collection came out last autumn.

Although the children must be middle aged now and the husband has not, some readers may conclude, done very much to merit such delicacy about his feelings, Olds remains protective. Last week, for instance, she was reluctant to elaborate on her ex's reaction to eventual publication. "It seems to me bad enough to »

- Catherine Bennett

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