Top positive review
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Woof & Words: A Master Muse on Dog's, Impermance, Love, and Loss
on October 11, 2013
My wife lovvvvves dogs--and not just our dog (though he gets special royalty status)--AND Mary Oliver. So when I bumped into this book, I knew I had to get it for her right away. And she's delighted with the book. Even I (also a lover of dogs--though less appreciative of poetry) was charmed--and more important--touched by MO's words and the poems in this slim volume (which include both previously published and new works).
Mary Oliver is actually one of the few poets who does move me--and obviously I'm not alone. Probably some experts and academics will scoff, but to me she has both a delicacy and down-to-earth quality that offer grace so even someone like myself, who might be a bit tone deaf to the mystery and romance of more obscure works, really sees/listens (<italics).
In Dog Songs, Ms. Oliver works her magic. The book goes transcends mere doggy-doggyness. It's tends to fragility, love, and hurt. As she writes in "School," "How many summers does a little dog have?" In a way, her poems, with their warmth, intangible quality, and simplicity, offer the kind of pleasure dogs give.
Mary Oliver's work tends to be simple and pure; so it's not surprising Dog Songs is as well. But, she captures the nuanced and powerful relationship we have with dogs, and does so with so few words. And the poems are enhanced by with the realistic pen-and-ink illustrations by John Burgoyne.
In short, if you love dogs or Mary Oliver, you will enjoy this collection; if you love both, you'll be delighted.