Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems vol. 1 | Book Review

Genre: poetry

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It was my birthday a while ago and I wished to read poetry on my daily hour-long busride, even with only a couple hours sleep. So I read this collection from my current favourite poet. Might be the lack of sleep, but I’m pretty certain it’s was literally magical. Like the sun was out for the first time in months. 

Short disclaimer: I haven’t read as much poetry as fantasy books, but still more than romance novels so here we go.

Mary Oliver’s poetry is nearly always connected with nature: animals, forest, bodies of water, plants. It creates this really lovely atmosphere as you read, and then you can go over again and try to catch the meaning and slowly dread sets in. Not really, it’s mostly light poems, soome with an darker or more serious undertone. Which fits me perfectly.

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The poems feels very tied to the author, and I can’t stop myself from trying to figure this person out. Mary Oliver is a bestselling poet and this collection contains poems from different times in her over eighty years of life. I liked to notice interests tied to specific periods as well as commonalities. It that threw me a bit off having read only her “recent” ones. She writes at one point that no one wants to hear about her childhood and I’m sitting there saying “NO IT’S WHAT I AM HERE FOR”. To be honest, I’m really here for the detailed descriptions of various flowers, but it’s a close second. I just needed stories about people who knows how horrible life can be, but still see beauty in it, just a little bit of hope. And this collection is that, along with weird descriptions of eating animals, but generally talks about how nice the sun is on her skin and various description of how the waves crashes against the shore.

If anyone has recommendations for poets who write a lot about nature/detailed descriptions of anything really or simply favourite poets, send them my way! I just need beautiful words in my life, and when they come with interesting, intelligent thoughts that’s a bonus. 

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