New and Selected Poems. Volume Two

New and Selected Poems. Volume Two

Book - 2005
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Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape-

New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, an anthology of forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-and sixty-nine poems hand-picked by Mary Oliver from six of her last eight books, is a major addition to a career in poetry that has spanned nearly five decades. Now recognized as an unparalleled poet of the natural world, Mary Oliver writes with unmatched dexterity and a profound appreciation for the divergence and convergence of all living things.

Mary Oliver is always searching for the soul of things. In poem after poem, her investigations go from the humble green bean that nourishes her and makes her wonder if "something/-I can't name it-watches as I walk the/rows, accepting the gift of their lives/to assist mine" to the vast, untouchable bliss of "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." Oliver's search grows and is informed by experience, meditation, perception, and discernment. And all the while, during her quest, she is constantly surprised and fortified by joy.

This graceful volume, designed to be paired with New and Selected Poems, Volume One, includes new poems on birds, toads, flowers, insects, bodies of water, and the extraordinary experience of the everyday in our lives. In the words of Alicia Ostriker,'Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing.' In both the older and new poems, Mary Oliver is a poet at the height of her control of image and language.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Beacon Press, c2005
ISBN: 9780807068861
0807068861
Characteristics: 178 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
---
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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