This post is a bit different from my usual ones because, in the past ten days or so, I’ve read five collections of poetry by Mary Oliver, which is all that we have in the stacks at work. It feels kind of satisfying to have read everything your local library has of one author in its collection. This of course isn’t all that Mary Oliver has written, but I feel like it’s a good overview. So that’s why this is a sort of bulk review, which will mostly be quick snapshots of each book including my favorite poems from each. They are ordered according to when I read them.
“Am I Not Among the Early Risers”
“That Sweet Flute John Clare”
“Rain, Tree, Thunder and Lightning”
“And Bob Dylan Too”
“Three Things to Remember”
“Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness”
“Green, Green Is My Sister’s House”
“On Traveling to Beautiful Places”
“For I Will Consider My Dog Percy”
Date Read: April 23, 2017
“First Yoga Lesson”
“I Don’t Want to Be Demure or Respectable”
“No Matter What”
“What We Want”
“It must be a great disappointment to God if we are not dazzled at least ten times a day.”
“Little Crazy Love Song”
Author: Mary Oliver
“Luke’s Junkyard Song”
Date Read: April 29, 2017
“Coyote in the Dark, Coyotes Remembered”
Her child leaps among the flowers, / the blue of the sky falls over me // like silk, the flowers burn, and I want / to live my life all over again, to begin again, // to be utterly / wild.
“The Summer Day”
Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?
After reading five collections of Mary Oliver in a row, I think I’ve had enough of poems about animals to last me for a while. My biggest takeaway is that she occasionally has some beautiful lines that made me stop to repeat them over and over, which I think is one of the best things poetry can accomplish–to capture the pure beauty of words.
You can read more about it and find similar books on Goodreads.