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Blue Horses: Poems

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Overview

In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature.
 
Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees,...

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Blue Horses: Poems

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Overview

In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature.
 
Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments.
 
At its heart, Blue Horses asks what it means to truly belong to this world, to live in it attuned to all its changes. Humorous, gentle, and always honest, Oliver is a visionary of the natural world.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Of nature, Mary Oliver once wrote: "It's like a schoolhouse/of little words,/thousands of words./First you figure out what each one means by itself,/the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop/full of moonlight.//Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story." In this radiant new collection of poems, the Provincetown-based octogenarian poet reflects on the birds, trees, artwork, memories and encounters that mark her day, transforming each into an experience that readers can savor. This National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author once remarked that she didn't want to find that she have simply been a visitor on this planet. She need not have worried.

Publishers Weekly
11/03/2014
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner Oliver (Dog Songs) remains among the bestselling poets in America, and this slim collection will sate her many fans: once again her clear, calm lines find pellucid guidance, wonder and cheer, and useful wisdom in forests and seashores. Though Oliver has long resided in Provincetown, Mass., and described New England natures, she nods this time to points farther south: "in a warm place, surrounded by/ mangroves," those tropical trees tell her "We are what we are, you/ are what you are, love us if you can." Readers who only know Oliver for her most popular work might be surprised, even delighted, at the open eroticism of other new poems; the same readers might seek out the titular painting by Franz Marc, where "the desire to make something beautiful/ is the piece of God that is inside each of us." Oliver's sentences, divided between quiet awe and spiritual instruction, have become less detailed over time: there's less "nature writing" here, and more mysticism, than in some earlier volumes. "There is a fire in the lashes of my eyes," she declares (quoting the German mystic Jacob Bohme); "It doesn't matter where I am, it could be a small room." It matters a great deal to her admirers that she is, once again, there for them. (Oct.)
Library Journal
08/01/2014
The multiaward-winning Oliver (Dog Songs) gives readers another opportunity to slow down and connect, to see what she sees, and perhaps to find consolation there. In this slim volume, Oliver shares the page with Rumi, Stebbins, Lucretius—and even Shiva. Oliver asks, "What Can I Do" in the face of technology. She answers "not much" but adds, "I can strike a match and make fire." Indeed she does! In a voice so distinctly hers, Oliver reflects on aging and the nature of art, poetry, and love—the conundrum of culture. In "Franz Marc's Blue Horses," she suggests, "Maybe our world will grow kinder…./ Maybe the desire to make something beautiful/ is the piece of God that is inside each of us." As with those blue horses, which might have their secrets, it's enough that Oliver's poems are speaking and might have secrets, too, but it's up to us to listen. Perhaps the popularity of Oliver's poems lies in their pastoral quiet, the exactness of her observations, and the comfort of the poet's use of simple language. As she reminds readers, "I don't care how many angels can/ dance on the head of a pin. It's/ enough to know …they exist, and that they dance." VERDICT Highly recommended for all poetry collections.—Karla Huston, Appleton, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594204791
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,274
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Oliver

Born in a small town in Ohio, Mary Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of twenty-eight. Over the course of her long career, she has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    This is the most beautiful book of poetry I have read. Highly r

    This is the most beautiful book of poetry I have read. Highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    Lovely poems that help me get centered.

    I try to read one or two of these in the morning, helps me get my day off to a nice start. Lovely imagery - the one that stands out for me is about Angels dancing,. it doesn't matter how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, what matters is that they dance. - not sure if I got the quote right, but that is the essence of it.

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  • Posted November 7, 2014

    Highly recommended!

    Mary's poems are easy to read but have multiple depths that are reached by reading them again and again

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  • Posted October 18, 2014

    Thank you, Mary. These poems are wonderful. The hummingbirds hov

    Thank you, Mary. These poems are wonderful. The hummingbirds hover among the pages. The blue horses need not speak. 
    Namaste.  Your fans will be delighted, 

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