The Pull

Olds, Sharon

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Donley, Carol
  • Date of entry: Jun-06-1996


The narrator of this poem seems to be starving herself to death to be with her father who has died recently. She talks of " . . . flirting with my father, / his cadaver the only body this thin / I have seen--I am walking around like his corpse . . . . " Her eating disorder may be a form of grieving. She has lost her will to live.


The daughter here talks of losing weight steadily after her father dies, loving the skeletal look that links her to his wasted body. "I do love being like him, / feeling my big joints slide under the loose skin." Even her memory of feeding him in the last days of his life connects her to him as if she should die too. "I felt the suction of his tongue . . . his death pulling at my hand." (See also other poems by Olds about a father’s death, annotated in this database, such as: The Dead Body, The Pulling, The Waiting).

Primary Source

The Father



Place Published

New York