When "New and Selected Poems, Volume One" was originally published in 1992, Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award. In the fourteen years since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country. This collection features thirty poems published only in this volume as well as selections from the ...
When "New and Selected Poems, Volume One" was originally published in 1992, Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award. In the fourteen years since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country. This collection features thirty poems published only in this volume as well as selections from the poet's first eight books. Mary Oliver's perceptive, brilliantly crafted poems about the natural landscape and the fundamental questions of life and death have won high praise from critics and readers alike. "Do you love this world?" she interrupts a poem about peonies to ask the reader. "Do you cherish your humble and silky life?" She makes us see the extraordinary in our everyday lives, how something as common as light can be "an invitation/to happiness, /and that happiness, /when it's done right, /is a kind of holiness, /palpable and redemptive." She illuminates how a near miss with an alligator can be the catalyst for seeing the world "as if for the second time/the way it really is." Oliver's passionate demonstrations of delight are powerful reminders of the bond between every individual, all living things, and the natural world.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-10-24 Following by 13 years her National Book Award-winning New and Selected Volume One, this big and very quotable collection offers more of what Oliver's fans revere: optimistic, clear and lyrical explorations of varying ecosystems, (especially the birds, mammals, ponds and forests of the northeastern U.S.) mingled with rapt self-questioning, consolation and spiritual claims some might call prayers. One of the 42 new poems watches ravens on a "morning of green tenderness and/ rain"; others describe a mockingbird, a white heron, an obedient dog, tiger lilies, deer, terns, blueberry fields on Cape Cod (where Oliver lives) and a "Mountain Lion on East Hill Road," glimpsed just "once, years ago." Poems reprinted from six earlier books (beginning with 1994's White Pine) broaden the focus to insect life, to weather and the seasons ("I have talked with the faint clouds in the sky") and to other parts of the U.S.; while most poems use a mellifluous free verse, some choose the simplicities of prose, a form best achieved in Winter Hours (1999). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1992-08-10 This collection brings together poetry from eight of Oliver's previously published books and 30 new poems. In all of her work, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Primitive , Oliver, ``full of curiosity,'' writes about the natural world, engaging the entwined processes of life and death. ``Amazement'' figures in her persistent attention to things seen: ``If you notice anything / it leads you to notice / more / and more.'' Description then leads to meditation, a leap beyond the material world. Fundamentally religious in impulse, many of the poems move quickly away from concrete description. Metaphors are not quite grounded in the real; rather, they are asserted, declared. Of a bear the one poem's speaker notes, ``all day I think of her-- / her white teeth, her wordlessness, her perfect love.'' Even though this bear flicks the grass with her tongue, sharpens her claws against the ``silence/of the trees,'' the reader cannot quite see her. It's as if Oliver reports on mysteries rather than embodying them. And so, despite its undeniable music, her work too often becomes rhetorical; too often its earnestness turns preachy and its feeling becomes sentimental. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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