Sometime during the Truman Administration,
Sharon Olds’s parents tied her to a chair, and she
has been writing about it ever since.
                                 —from a review of The Unswept Room
My father was a gentleman, and he expected us to be
gentlemen. If we did not observe the niceties of
etiquette, he whopped us with his belt. He had a strong
arm, and boy did we feel it.
                                     —Prescott Sheldon Bush, Jr., brother
                                          to a president and uncle to another

They put a roof over our heads.
Each tile was a slab of clay laid over a
thigh and bent until it dried bent,
so the edge of the roof had a broken look,
as if a lot of crockery had been
thrown down, onto the home—
a dump for heaven’s cheap earthenware.
Along the eaves, the arches in a row
were like the Colosseum entrances
where a lion might appear, or an eight-foot armored
being with the painted face