Posts tagged Mary Oliver
Blue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver

Few poets capture the world with such ethereal grace and strict joy as Mary Oliver. In her 2014 collection, Blue Horses, she returns to some of her most poignant and witty moods to remark on nature, life, death, and just about everything else. In her beloved way, Oliver avoids her work becoming overly stylized by not really styling (or, at least, not visibly, earnestly styling) it at all.

Her poems become conversations with the reader, the result of the way Oliver sees life with dauntless curiosity and an open heart. Her rhetoric takes on the vivacity of a delighted child, with a child’s wisdom - a wisdom gained by being open to the world as a rule. In her commonplace subject matter she uncovers opportunity for laughter, while in her consideration of the natural world she delivers the trademark significance her readers have come to love with as much otherworldly lyricism as ever before.

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Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver

Thirst is Mary Oliver's 2006 collection, containing forty-three works from the poet that frame her experiences in the time after her partner of four decades passed away. While her poems always have a way of exposing the rawness of nature and freedom and love, here she sets her sights on slightly different territory: namely the nakedness of grief and the honesty of passing through it, back to the place of comfort that looks slightly different after knowing loss. Sweetly, peacefully, she faces that place with hope and courage.

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Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s poetry dependably lingers on the topics that quicken her heart, which is to say the blessings of the natural world: flowers and field mice, the magic of a bird flying over breaking waves, morning light (and sunsets as well). But the subject she seems to come most alive writing about is certainly dogs. In Dog Songs she compiles thirty-six writings of various styles – poems of differing natures, and one essay – which extol the many beloved virtues of the dogs she’s known and loved. Her writings cross between poignant and joyful, paying homage in full to the history of dogs and to the unique way they have of changing our lives. Alongside her poems are illustrations by John Burgoyne depicting the subjects of her Songs; a collection of pictures rendered in a style that elegantly echoes Oliver's writing in its surface simplicity and deeper vastness. From the first poem to the last, Dog Songs rings of Oliver’s very singular magic with poetry and capturing the nature of dogs.

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A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver

Something about Mary Oliver's latest collection of poems caught my attention when it was first published in October of 2012; maybe the premise of it, the fact that her poetry in A Thousand Mornings revolves around animals and nature, and her joyful interactions with both. Regardless, I saw it again some months ago at the library and started to read it while I lingered in front of its shelf; when I seemed perfectly content to stay there reading the entire collection, I figured it was definitely one to check out.

Not having a particularly in-depth experience of poetry, I appreciated how instantly I was able to connect with Oliver's work. If you're interested in the art of poetry but don’t quite know where to start, I highly recommend A Thousand Mornings. In thirty-six simple and sparkling poems Oliver muses with grace, delight, and a touch of humor on the sort of subjects we all might be inclined to stumble upon in our daily lives. She writes about the transitions of seasons, the unruliness of nature’s beauty, the truth within the simplistic; she writes at length about animals, plenty of birds and some snakes and two heartbreaking, poignant odes to her late dog, Percy; she writes about spring; and, of course, she writes about mornings. I haven't read Oliver's work before, though I know she’s quite revered, and I understand why.

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