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A Thousand Mornings Hardcover – October 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; 1 edition (October 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594204772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594204777
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Beginning with her first poetry book in 1963, Oliver has chronicled her enthrallment to the living world, especially the land and sea surrounding Provincetown, Massachusetts, and her spiritual evolution. In her newest collection, her compact poems are conversational and teasing, yet their taproots reach deeply into the aquifers of religion, philosophy, and literature. Some read like brief fables, such as when an old fox compares their respective species and tells the poet, “You fuss, we live.” A Bob Dylan quote inspires a poem about song, while a mockingbird’s mimicry elicits thoughts about authenticity and one’s true self. The crucial and moving poem “Hum, Hum” describes a scarring childhood redeemed by the solace of the embracing, living world and the words of poets. Oliver is funny and renegade as she protests cultural vapidity, greed, violence, and environmental decimation and ravishing in her close readings of nature, such as the resplendent “Tides,” which surges like the sea. Ultimately, Oliver warns us that “the only ship there is / is the ship we are all on / burning the world as we go.” --Donna Seaman

About the Author

Born in a small town in Ohio, Mary Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of twenty-eight. Over the course of her long career, she has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

More About the Author

A private person by nature, Mary Oliver has given very few interviews over the years. Instead, she prefers to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has, for the past five decades, to countless readers. The New York Times recently acknowledged Mary Oliver as "far and away, this country's best-selling poet." Born in a small town in Ohio, Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of 28; No Voyage and Other Poems, originally printed in the UK by Dent Press, was reissued in the United States in 1965 by Houghton Mifflin. Oliver has since published many works of poetry and prose. As a young woman, Oliver studied at Ohio State University and Vassar College, but took no degree. She lived for several years at the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay in upper New York state, companion to the poet's sister Norma Millay. It was there, in the late '50s, that she met photographer Molly Malone Cook. For more than forty years, Cook and Oliver made their home together, largely in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Cook's death in 2005. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She has also received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence. Oliver's essays have appeared in Best American Essays 1996, 1998, 2001; the Anchor Essay Annual 1998, as well as Orion, Onearth and other periodicals. Oliver was editor of Best American Essays 2009. Oliver's books on the craft of poetry, A Poetry Handbook and Rules for the Dance, are used widely in writing programs. She is an acclaimed reader and has read in practically every state as well as other countries. She has led workshops at various colleges and universities, and held residencies at Case Western Reserve University, Bucknell University, University of Cincinnati, and Sweet Briar College. From 1995, for five years, she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston (1998), Dartmouth College (2007) and Tufts University (2008). Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the inspiration for much of her work.

Photo Credit: Rachel Giese Brown, 2009.

Customer Reviews

If you haven't read Mary Oliver's poetry I highly recommend you begin.
Diane Rapozo
Mary Oliver is one of the greats because she writes with deep intimacy of nature but also with the inner workings of humans, the soul.
John Donne
I read one of the each day for the poems and the inspirational message that keep me going.
Carol

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Defreitas on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There is one complaint to be made about A Thousand Mornings: it is far too short -- 80 pages, and many of those pages are blank. However, when the pages are not blank, we are drawn into the world of Mary Oliver, and it is a world from which we do not eagerly depart!

The book opens with the wry humor of "I Go Down to the Shore," and moves from there to the Roethkean questionings of "I Happened to Be Standing": "But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be if it isn't a prayer?" There are several one-paragraph prose poems of "earth-praise," which will entice those readers who are willing to be enticed. There is a dialogue with a fox, resumed from earlier books, and a nod to Bob Dylan, expanding on one of the book's epigraphs, Dylan's words: "Anything worth thinking about is also worth singing about." Oliver speaks of growth in the midst of devastation in the poem "Hurricane"; and this reader smiled at "Three Things to Remember," even if the poem was too baldly "proverbial."

The change of the seasons, summer to autumn, is depicted in "Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness," although to be sure, there is metaphoric darkness:

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

The title poem, "A Thousand Mornings," is a prose-poem of a single sentence, but we do not indict the poem for brevity, when it speaks of "mak[ing] its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing...
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I loved the nature poems in this volume, and the two about Oliver's dog, but the one I want to highlight stood out and uniquely spoke to me and it is about neither of those.

The Morning Paper

Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition
is the best
for by evening you know that you at least
have lived through another day)
and let the disasters, the unbelievable
yet approved decisions,
soak in.

I don't need to name the countries,
ours among them.

What keeps us from falling down, our faces
to the ground;ashamed, ashamed?
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Yours Truly VINE VOICE on October 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I greet any new volume from Mary Oliver eagerly, and this one is particularly fine. It seems tinged with a certain autumnal somberness. For the uninitiated, Oliver writes primarily about the natural world around her home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. (I'm taking "Lines Written in Days of Growing Darkness" to a solstice celebration.) But there are also poems here about her family, about the news and travel and about the demise of her endearing dog, Percy.

This is the first time I've downloaded poetry to my Kindle, and I am eager to see if I read it more often this way.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Isadore Ann VINE VOICE on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, but I do relate to the reviews who also said there was a lot of blank pages and white space. There isn't the stand out poems that have been present in some of her earlier books, and this book probably wouldn't have been printed if she were any other writer. It's a bit thin on content and even on those concrete images that have been present in some of her earlier books. Still, this one will make a nice addition for the fan of poetry or of Oliver.

I gave this three stars because, while I'm a huge fan of Oliver's and did enjoy it, I didn't LOVE it. Does that mean it's a bad book? Not at all. In fact, if you're an Oliver fan, you're happy that she's still putting out books in her iconic style.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary j Smith on June 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book I keep beside me, day and night. For an instant connection to Mother Earth. I randomly open it and read whatever is in front of me. Mary Oliver is a one of a kind human/poet, who can say in her excellent choice of words, what so many of us feel. Thank you, Mary Oliver.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Siggen on November 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading Mary Oliver is like entering an enchanted garden, a garden which is in fact our own everyday world, too easily overlooked in the humdrum of the ordinary. Oliver makes us see the beauty of it all!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. Conley on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am always impressed with the word choices and deep reflections of Mary Oliver.
This book is no exception. I just spent a lovely afternoon savoring this book and I'm buying more copies for friends.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By oldbug on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection of poetry, is, as usual, wonderfully insightful and sensitive. She is always in touch with nature, with herself, and with the "spiritual." These poems seem to reflect her movement into an older phase of her life. She remains reverent, curious, and in awe of life in all of its forms.
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