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Thirst: Poems Hardcover – October 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Mary Oliver to have released another poetry
collection." and was so pleased to find
_Thirst_ on the shelf.
The moment I opened it I realized this was
going to be even more compelling than
nearly any other poetry I have ever read.
I sat in Barnes and Noble, crying openly,
laughing, smiling and revisiting poems
and phrases and just being amazed at the
transcendence I felt from Ms. Oliver's words.
This is a poetry book I will give to my
"non poetry" friends as well as my poetry
It is about the sacredness of life itself, it
is about love - never ending. It is about
coming to understand wholeness.
And so much more. It is difficult to express
with words how impactful this book is upon
my soul. As one reviewer said below, five stars
are not enough.
There is nothing pretentious about Oliver's poetry. She is simplicity and purity itself. Thirst is how she approaches living, and now dying - in her expression of grief for the loss of her longtime life partner. This does not change how she approaches living, only intensifies it. "My work is loving the world," she writes in her opening poem, "Messenger." She observes the world, then observes herself in it, part and parcel. "Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums./Here the clam deep in the speckled sand./Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?/Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me/keep my mind on what matters,/which is my work,/which is mostly standing still and learning to be/astonished."
Much of this collection is Oliver's conversation with God having a conversation with her. Their dialogue is filtered by nature, where everyplace is a place of worship and every living thing ministering to her and she reciprocating. Her dogs speak of unconditional love and simple acceptance, an exchanged gaze with a snake is looking into the eyes of divinity (and not the darker side). Praying can be done through the weeds in a vacant lot. The words do not have to be elaborate, Oliver writes, "but a doorway/into thanks, and a silence in which/another voice may speak.Read more ›
These are poems that celebrate the world of Creation, that praise the Creator, that walk through grief (Oliver lost her long time partner and agent, Molly Malone Cook, in 1995) into resolute hope, that point beyond nature and grief to the Giver of all. Her love of nature might be seen in the way she addresses it as addressing a good friend, as in "When I Am Among the Trees," where she says
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
There are poems about ribbon snakes, roses, a great moth, otters, Percy (her dog), and that great conversation ("And still I believe you will/ come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,/ the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea goose, know/ that really I am speaking to you" (Making the House Ready for the Lord).
And then there is grief.Read more ›
All the quick notes
Mozart didn't have time to use
before he entered the cloud-boat
are falling now from the beaks
of the finches
that have gathered from the joyous summer
into the hard winter
and, like Mozart, they speak of nothing
but light and delight,
though it is true, the heavy blades of the world
are still pounding underneath.
And this is what you can do too, maybe,
if you live simply and with a lyrical heart
in the cumbered neighborhoods or even,
as Mozart sometimes managed to, in a palace,
offering tune after tune after tune,
making some hard-hearted prince
prudent and kind, just by being happy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for a gift. After reading some of the poems I wanted to keep it for myself.Published 1 month ago by Patrick Somers
Unfortunately I ordered this for my Kindle instead of the book version. The font is different for each poem and it does not make for good reading on a tablet at all.Published 5 months ago by dpditto
I didn't know the name Mary Oliver or anything about her poetry until sometime during the past few months. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jim in NC
Excellent and very thought-provoking words that one can read over and over again, and still gain new insight into the poem.Published 6 months ago by Bonnie L. Brave
Our bodies cry for more than water. I listen into her kind voice and I feel the touch of her joy and I begin to learn how to bear sorrow.Published 7 months ago by Lawrence Johnson
Profound, sometimes simple (but not simplistic) poems on grief, faith, and the natural world. One of my favorite poems is in this book, "After Her Death."Published 8 months ago by Paul T. Corrigan
I’d expected to love this one because it was the book published after Oliver’s partner of 50 years died and supposedly was a beautiful meditation on grief. I didn’t get that. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mark