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Dream Work Paperback – May, 1986
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Her poems are wonderingly perceptive and strongly written, but beyond that they are a spirited, expressive meditation on the impossibilities of what we call lives, and on the gratifications of change.” Hayden Carruth
Oliver’s poems are thoroughly convincingas genuine, moving, and implausible as the first caressing breeze of spring.” The New York Times Book Review
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
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Photo Credit: Rachel Giese Brown, 2009.
Top Customer Reviews
I'm aware that many people say her imagery is too rich, too luxurious, and that it is not so much elemental as "stock". I also believe that that's like criticizing Tchaikovsky or Strauss or Puccini for being too melodic, too beautiful, too sad, too delightful.
I see no reason to believe that popularity and artistic value must be inversely proportional. Quite the contrary, I wish that more people could know about this wonderful woman to whom I am so deeply grateful.
I still don't know how Oliver does it. . . something about the clarity of her language makes subjects and philosophies that would sound trite or sugary in the lines of any other writer deeply moving. Perhaps because she doesn't embellish on her subjects, but lets the images and ideas speak for themselves.
These two gems have certainly found their way into my soul. Cherished. When I am surprised now to hear them quoted again after having moved to a different town and different friends -- they still create a sense of profound comfort, not because life is easy but because Mary Oliver has managed to give it honest and penetrating expression that honors the struggle, the wistfulness, the determination and the glimpses of hope.
Since she is a Pulitzer Winner for Poetry, I expected to find more reviews here. Her wisdom was definitely not exhausted in her most popular poems. There are many other very fine, equally enchanted lines in this book. Other stanzas of haunting beauty and insight. So far, I've never tired of it recapturing my attention as I walk by the shelf where it rests. No other book of poems that I've owned calls me this persistently and at "the right time".
Over these years, regardless of the pleasure or the stressfulness of my day -- there is a poem in here which has fresh relevancy. I savor her terse yet skillful word-smithing. After a few minutes of letting her words wash over and through me, I feel a deep satisfaction. No, life isn't perfect. Pain still happens, tragedy (past and present) still touches me, and death still claims those I care about. But Mary Oliver has found the words to express it and to create a slightly different angle on my day or night, illuminating that which is shared across all of us earthwalkers. Through her words I see more options. I feel sacred ground beneath my feet.Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
classic, delicate, graceful. This is a great introduction to Mary Oliver's work. If you like Robert Frost, or T. Read morePublished 5 months ago by milla
I had not read her before and was not prepared for her eloquent examination of the dark side of nature.Published 7 months ago by Mollie Marshall
It is impossible to say which is my favorite from this collection but what I can say is Oliver concocts a potion here than can seep into and heal a soul that sometimes loses its... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kimberly L. Smith
thank you very much I can give you 5 stars thank you thank youPublished 10 months ago by mustafa salim mustafa
This was the first book of poems I ever read by this amazing poet. She is brilliant and has keen observations and contemplations about life. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Buck