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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These poems are luminous and exquisite....
_Dream Work_ is the first Mary Oliver book that I found, way back in 1989 while ill with pneumonia. "The Journey", possibly Mary's most popular poem, leapt out at me and quite literally opened my mind to a deeper commitment to self-care. That poem was Good Medicine!! ... "Wild Geese" has been another balm; who among us couldn't feel more tender...
Published on October 19, 1998

versus
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Negative outlook on life!
I bought a few volumes of her poetry thinking she'd lift my spirits. Just the opposite happened. I was very disappointed.
Published 11 months ago by EC


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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These poems are luminous and exquisite...., October 19, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
_Dream Work_ is the first Mary Oliver book that I found, way back in 1989 while ill with pneumonia. "The Journey", possibly Mary's most popular poem, leapt out at me and quite literally opened my mind to a deeper commitment to self-care. That poem was Good Medicine!! ... "Wild Geese" has been another balm; who among us couldn't feel more tender towards ourselves when we read these lines, "You do not have to be good./You do not have to walk on your knees/for a hunded miles through the desert, repenting./You only have to let the soft animal of your body/love what it loves."?
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Graceful Muse, December 6, 2005
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
I was a little tired of studying one day years ago and decided to pick up something entirely different and read it instead. I did a random search for whatever words came to my fingertips first. I was away at college and feeling a little homesick I guess. As I recall, the words included "moonlight", "home", and "dream". I got back Twelve Moons, House of Light, and Dreamwork. That started my romance with Mary Oliver.
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.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Beautiful It Will Make You Cry Like A Baby, April 17, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
Mary Oliver is the poet I always point to first to contradict people who say, "For poetry to be good, it has to be depressing." Oliver continually proves that being hopeful, appreciative, and optimistic isn't necessarily incompatible with being a good artist/writer or a person who thinks analytically and critically. The poems in this book largely deal with nature, art, or music, and with appreciating the natural world, even if that appreciation sometimes needs to be forced.
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure which deepens in value every time I read it., May 31, 2010
By 
Quadradox (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
I've owned this brief book, just under 90 pages, now for over a decade. First purchased it after hearing the more famous poems quoted several times by friends and in workshops -- such as, Wild Geese and The Journey.

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. And I do almost hear the "wild geese announcing our places in the family of things".

So...I don't want to sound "corny" or "gushing" here. I truly feel she is an unusually gifted writer. I am very grateful that she has shared from the well with the rest of us.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream Work is magic, July 5, 2009
By 
Marjorie Yaspan "Marge" (Huntington Station, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
I love Mary Oliver's magnificent poetry. She helps the reader feel the connection between nature and the Divine. "The Journey," Mary's incredible poem about loving and saving oneself is a rare gem. As a psychotherapist, I see so many people who do not see freedom for themselves as an option. They feel imprisoned by others, convention, their own harsh self-judgement. A reading and understanding of "The Journey," can be the first incredible step towards freeing one's spirit, allowing it to take flight and soar. I cannot read this poem without my heart filling with gratitude. I took the journey for myself years ago and "...saved the only life I could save;my own." God bless Mary Oliver.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the continuation of dreams, February 13, 2007
By 
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
I discovered Mary Oliver by reading a short story which referenced Wild Geese. Finding Wild Geese quite literally saved my life. The rest of Dream Work was hardly a let down. The opening poem, Dogfish... "I want to listen to the enormous waterfalls of the sun"... how do you get better than that? From Rage to Shadows to Sliver, Orion, Trilliums... every single poem in this book is pure. This book is my "Bible" so to speak.

Get this book. *Get it.*
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream Work - an enlightenment to show you the way!, January 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
If Dream Work was composed only of one poem - Wild Geese- it would receive 5 stars! In this poem alone Mary Oliver captures the heart of our souls. It is my "mantra".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight for people who've been in therapy, February 12, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
For those of us who have endured emotional illness, Mary Oliver really communicates the emotions and the hope. The first half of the book must have surely come from her own such experience. The second half of the book was much weaker in my opinion. She is definitely my all-time favorite poet. If I had to pick a favorite in the book it would be "Wild Geese" or "The Journey"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver is Brilliant, as always, December 18, 2008
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
Many wonderful works of literary art are stored in this volume, such as 'Wild Geese', 'Starfish', and 'The Chance To Love Everything'. I am an avid fan of Mary Oliver's work, and would highly suggest her to poetry lovers, especially those who love nature as well as the written word. She is, as always, breathtaking.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching reality, August 3, 2001
This review is from: Dream Work (Paperback)
I will be teaching language arts. I plan to use Mary Oliver in the classroom to get students interested in poetry. She writes in such a down to earth manner that she can be understood and discussed by people who aren't really "into poetry". Oliver gives us a new angle to look at the world with - but one that can be related to easily.
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Dream Work
Dream Work by Mary Oliver (Paperback - May 1986)
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