Friday Reads: Mary Oliver
There is so much to praise about Mary Oliver: Her wisdom, her humility, her love of the world (especially dogs and birds) while addressing suffering – both personal and planetary. Her books are exhilarating, born of faith, intellect and attention. Just think if she hadn’t put her writing into the world, if she’d kept her rare gift to herself? And yet we at Penguin Random House are fortunate enough to publish Mary Oliver, with the latest offering, DEVOTIONS, making its way into the hands of readers, including those who once believed they didn’t like poetry.
This morning the redbirds’ eggs
have hatched and already the chicks
are chirping for food. They don’t
know where it’s coming from, they
just keep shouting, “More! More!”
As to anything else, they haven’t
had a single thought. Their eyes
haven’t yet opened, they know nothing
about the sky that’s waiting. Or
the thousands, the millions of trees.
They don’t even know they have wings.
And just like that, like a simple
neighborhood event, a miracle is
taking place. – Mary Oliver
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career.
“If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger,” Mary Oliver once said in an interview. Finally, in this stunning new collection, Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver’s love poems.
A collection of essays from the beloved Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestseller Mary Oliver: “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”
In this stunning collection of poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature. Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence.
The volume includes poems on crickets, toads, trout lilies, black snakes, goldenrod, bears, greeting the morning, watching the deer and, finally, lingering in happiness.
Thirst introduces two new directions in the poet’s work. Grappling with grief at the death of her beloved partner of over forty years, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the first time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her work.
Threaded throughout Mary Oliver’s many collections, there have always been dogs. Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, the dog poems offer a special window into Mary Oliver’s universe.
Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty-six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life-hawks, hummingbirds, and herons; kingfishers, catbirds, and crows; swans, swallows and, of course, the snowy owl, among a dozen others-including ten poems that have never before been collected.
A rich collection of ten poems, two essays, and two dozen of Mary Oliver’s classic works on flowers, trees, and plants of all sorts, elegantly illustrated, Blue Iris is the essential companion to Owls and Other Fantasies.
For more on these and related titles visit Mary Oliver
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