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Why I Wake Early: New Poems Paperback – April 15, 2005
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'These are life enhancing and redemptive poems that coax the sublime from the subliminal.' --Sally Connolly, Poetry
'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
'The gift of Oliver's poetry is that she communicates the beauty she finds in the world and makes it unforgettable.’ -Miami Herald
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Photo Credit: Rachel Giese Brown, 2009.
Top Customer Reviews
This book tells us it is enough to be at peace with the world and to enjoy what we've been given. Now in her seventies, she may have moved beyond the inner struggles of past and worries of future. The poems in Why I Wake Early, seem to say that for her it is now enough to observe, describe, and enjoy what nature offers. She does not need to wrestle with meaning - just be and enjoy.
Perhaps I am too cynical, certainly less evolved or mature. However, I was hoping for more poems that touched upon the conflicts and cruelty we observe and survive. I wanted to experience more poems with challenge and pain - like those in American Primitive. I was hoping for poems that moved through beauty and darkness, then resolved in a wiser, deeper peace.
So, I was disappointed because the poems in Why I Wake Early lacked angst and profound observations. Don't get me wrong - these poems are eloquent, beautifully descriptive and gentle - full of appreciation and respect for the natural world. They are each a gift of thanks.
I just happen to prefer the depth and range of her earlier poems. I recommend new readers get and read her Selected Poems first, then read this book. All of her books are treasures, including this one - so whatever you do, read Mary Oliver's work. I've given books by her to many friends, and each of them comments on what amazing poems they are. She is a remarkable, gifted poet - one of the best in America.
be the opposite of a lullaby - a book filled with
"songs to awaken by".....
A pure celebration of life, I slowly reveled in
each poem... at times gasping out loud by
the gentle ferocity of the words and imagery.
Favorites include "Where Does the Temple
End and Where Does it Begin?" and "Just a
Minute" said a voice.
I know this is a title I will read over and over and
over and over again..........
There are things you can't reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.
From Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?
Certainly, Mary Oliver knows this haiku by Zen poet, Basho?
The temple bell stops
but I still hear the sound coming
out of the flowers.
What poem could you write?
Look and See
This morning, at waterside, a sparrow flew
to a water rock and landed, by error, on the back
of an eider duck; lightly it fluttered off, amused.
The duck, too, was not provoked,but, you might say, was
This afternoon a gull sailing over
our house was casually scratching
its stomach of white feathers with one
pink foot as it flew.
Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we
only look, and see.
Last night I attended a talk at The Wisconsin Book Festival by Rick Bass and Terry Tempest Williams. Their theme was to not only pay attention to the wonders of nature, but to pay attention to what is happening to it, local warming, the lack of water in the West, the disruption of migration patterns and habitat. Pay Attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anyone who admires the artistic genius of Mary Oliver will love this collection of her works.Published 2 days ago by KLN
No one surpasses Mary Oliver. She is my muse. And incredible addition to her poetry collection. Long live Mary Oliver!Published 3 months ago by mrs.peapod
Breathtaking and just-perfect language celebrate nature and our experience of it. Metaphor and personification reach their summit. Oliver is absolutely brilliantPublished 4 months ago by Leonore
Mary Oliver's poetry lets you see as you read. This was a very good book.Published 6 months ago by BDWJ