Praise for Mary Oliver
"She is, far and away, this country's best selling poet." —Dwight Garner, New York Times Book Review
"You can pick up pretty much any Mary Oliver collection and be thrilled, but Swan...is so piercing and penetrating that form seems to fall away, an unnecessary stage for the rocket." —Brian Doyle, Christian Century
"Oliver reminds us of the mystery and necessity of poetry, whose source is, ultimately, the Creator." —Angela O'Donnell, America
“One of the astonishing aspects of Oliver’s work is the consistency of tone over this long period [of her career]. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets. . . . 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, New York Times Book Review
“Mary Oliver’s poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing. Her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations.”—Stanley Kunitz
“Mary Oliver’s poems are natural growths out of a loam of perception and feeling, and instinctive skill with language makes them seem effortless. Reading them is a sensual delight.”—May Swenson
“Like Henry David Thoreau of Transcendentalist fame she is a naturalist whose attention to what used to be called the Book of Nature borders on both devotion and experimentation. . . . Mindfulness seems to be Oliver’s métier, looking and listening her scientific method and contemplative practice.”—Stephen Prothero, Search
“I should be clear that Mary Oliver is, to my mind, one of the most gifted American poets working in English today. In her hands, the language acquires a lucidity approaching translucence; the accuracy of her vision and the precision of her voice are unique in their refreshing simplicity. Perhaps most singular is the tendency of her poems to be at once powerful and appealing; an affection for the natural world and a sympathy toward the reader abide.” —Katherine Hollander, Pleiades
“This year the Top 5 [Indiebound poetry best sellers] can be summed up in six words: Mary Oliver, Mary Oliver, Mary Oliver. Oliver’s impressive feat reflects both an enduring popularity and an unparalleled ability to touch readers on a deep, almost primal level.”—Elizabeth Lund, Christian Science Monitor
“Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing.”—Alicia Ostriker, The Nation
“One would have to reach back perhaps to [John] Clare or [Christopher] Smart to safely cite a parallel to Oliver’s lyricism.”—David Barber, Poetry
“The music in Oliver’s writing is unmistakable. Her poetry can be read as the best of the real lyrics we have these days, and it’s no surprise that she’s already won a Pulitzer Prize for it, as well as many other honors.”—Los Angeles Times
I purchased this little book of poems because of an interview with Jessye Norman published recently in the N.Y. Times Book Review.
It is lovely. Thank you, Jessye. Read more
Mary Oliver is a gifted, insightful, precise, thoughtful, and inspired writer. Reading her poems slows my pace, gives me time to appreciate the world around me, and even opens the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Swallows & Amazons
I love Mary Oliver's poetry, but here she is competing with herself at her best, and doesn't win. She often adopts a somewhat arch tone that reminds me of Robert Frost in old old... Read morePublished 19 months ago by burrs
Simple and straightforward as only Mary Oliver can be, this collection brings us more of the wonderment she finds in the everyday. If only we could all see things as she does!Published 20 months ago by Ilana Waters
Mary Oliver never disappoints.
Her prose and poetry tease the mind into seeing life in new ways.
I highly recommend this book!
As always, Mary Oliver's poetry does not disappoint. I always read her books quickly then pull them off the shelf over and over again to savor. Read morePublished on July 15, 2012 by Susan H. McFadden
Mary Oliver is so in touch with nature that surrounds her that she writes in such a way that one feels like you are right there beside her. Read morePublished on February 11, 2012 by M. E. Bourgeois