New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

Volume One

Book - 1992
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Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems, Volume One. Since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country. This collection features thirty poems published only in this volume as well as selections from the poet's first eight books.

Mary Oliver's perceptive, brilliantly crafted poems about the natural landscape and the fundamental questions of life and death have won high praise from critics and readers alike. "Do you love this world?" she interrupts a poem about peonies to ask the reader. "Do you cherish your humble and silky life?" She makes us see the extraordinary in our everyday lives, how something as common as light can be "an invitation/to happiness,/and that happiness,/when it's done right,/is a kind of holiness,/palpable and redemptive." She illuminates how a near miss with an alligator can be the catalyst for seeing the world "as if for the second time/the way it really is." Oliver's passionate demonstrations of delight are powerful reminders of the bond between every individual, all living things, and the natural world.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c1992.
ISBN: 9780807068779
0807068772
Branch Call Number: 811.54 OLI
Characteristics: xii, 255 p. ; 23 cm.

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bookscoutshawna
Apr 20, 2018

My cousin, Tonya, gifted me this book 20 years ago when I was a teen, lost in my own notebooks and thoughts. Tonya marked many of her favorite poems throughout the pages, and that was the beginning of my love for Mary Oliver. Mary taught me that there is beauty in a broken heart and there is still beauty to be found even in the darkest days. We always have poetry, a balm for the soul. I will love her forever, and I will never be able to thank my cousin enough for a book that made such an impression on my life.
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Wild Geese
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You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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