Winner of the 1992 National Book Award for Poetry A New York Times Notable Book of the Year 1993 "One of the astonishing aspects of [Oliver's] work is the consistency of tone over this long period. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets. . . . These poems ...
Winner of the 1992 National Book Award for Poetry A New York Times Notable Book of the Year 1993 "One of the astonishing aspects of [Oliver's] work is the consistency of tone over this long period. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets. . . . These poems sustain us rather than divert us. Although few poets have fewer human beings in their poems than Mary Oliver, it is ironic that few poets also go so far to help us forward." -Stephen Dobyns, The New York Times Book Review
I'm a huge Nature lover and adore the immediacy of Mary's impressions. Beautiful poems. I read them again and again. I often gift this book for weddings, bring it to sick friends, hospital visits, use it before meditating sometimes, copy the poems for gifts and cards. It's one of my most treasured poetry collections. Even if you're not a huge poetry person you may find these very accessible. The imagery is stunning. In my top 5 of modern literary works!
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.)
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