Dog Songs

( 15 )

Overview

A New York Times bestselling collection of new and favorite poems,
celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world

Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and ...

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Dog Songs

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Overview

A New York Times bestselling collection of new and favorite poems,
celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world

Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. To be illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects will come to colorful life here.

These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Oliver’s well-loved Percy, and meet still others. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life emerge as fellow travelers, but also as guides, spirits capable of opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.

Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Lawrence Ferlinghetti called his dog "a real realist/ with a real tale to tell/ and a real tail to tell it with," and poets since Elizabeth Barrett Browning have seemed to agree, creating memorable poems about the four-legged companions so many of us love. The latest of these is Mary Oliver's awe-inspiring Dog Songs, a collection of her poetic tributes to canines, including deep bows to Percy, "oh, wisest of little dogs." Perhaps the most endearing poetry book of the year.

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Oliver (American Primitive) continues to build her legacy with this latest collection of new and selected poems, marking 50 years since her first book of poetry was published. Oliver's keen intuition of the natural world has allowed her to invent a poetic voice distinct to the American landscape and unmatched by that of her contemporaries. Here she is relaxed and at home in poems that read like songs and tell the stories of her companionship—the experience of love, trust, loss, grief, joy—with the animals she's spent a lifetime getting to know. In "Percy, Waiting for Ricky," the image is simple, the language straightforward, and the narrative complete, so the connection among the poet, her lines, and the reader is immediate, clarifying that reading poetry shouldn't be difficult: "Your friend is coming, I say/ to Percy and name a name// and he runs to the door, his/ wide mouth in its laugh-shape,// and waves, since he has one, his tail.// Emerson, I am trying to live"; then: "How// would it be to be Percy, I wonder, not/ thinking, not weighing anything, just running forward." VERDICT Oliver makes writing poetry look easy, yet she requires your attention. For readers seeking tangible meaning, Oliver gives lines of plenty here.—Annalisa Pesek, Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594204784
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 611
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.78 (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. She has led workshops and held residencies at various colleges and universities, including Bennington College, where she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching. Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

FIRST TIME PERCY CAME BACK

The first time Percy came back
he was not sailing on a cloud.
He was loping along the sand as though
he had come a great way.
“Percy,” I cried out, and reached to him—
 

those white curls—
but he was unreachable. As music
is present yet you can’t touch it.
“Yes, it’s all different,” he said.
“You’re going to be very surprised.”
But I wasn’t thinking of that. I only
wanted to hold him. “Listen,” he said.
“I miss that too.
And now you’ll be telling stories
 

of my coming back
and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true,
but they’ll be real.”
And. then, as he used to, he said, “Let’s go!”
And we walked down the beach together.
 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2013

    Dog Lovers Delight!

    This book is a gift to my heart. Mary Oliver has a devotion to nature and her descriptions of the tiniest details while on a walk through the woods always seem so clear to me.

    This collection is all about the dogs she has known. As a dog lover, her words bring me memories of all the dogs that have shared their lives with me. Dogs spend their time with us trying to teach us to see and feel everything each minute. I share Mary Oliver's affection for dogs and enjoy this book everytime I open it up!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Beautiful

    I loved this book so much that I am giving it as gifts to people who have dogs. Highly recommend to people who loves dogs and love poetry and stories about dogs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Loved this book!

    I bought this book for myself but ended up giving it to a friend who had just lost their dog of many years and was welcoming a new puppy into their home. The book seemed the right sentiment for both occasions. I just loved reading the poems from a dogs perspective, tears and smiles. Now I have to get myself a copy! What a wonderful gift too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    A must read for people who love dogs.

    Mary Oliver tells stories about the dogs we have all loved. She makes you laugh and cry as she paints mental images of what those dogs did and what they may have been thinking as they go about their day.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Great Gift Book

    I bought this book as a gift. The recipient loves it. He said it's one of the best gifts he's ever received. Great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Good reading!

    Great for dog lovers. Not her best work otherwise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Mary Oliver delivers again.

    Mary Oliver never disappoints.

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  • Posted November 6, 2013

    Heartwarming for those who have lived a life with dogs

    This was a gift for another that I read while trying to keep it looking new in appearance. Some poems were wonderfully happy, while others were tearfully sad. All brought to mind images of the animal or situation that moved the poet to write. This is a lovely book.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Excellent as always from Mary Oliver; a must have for all dog lovers

    Mary Oliver, like Ted Kooser, writes compact, precise poems that often give me Aha!' moments. I would recommend her poetry to anyone who loves all animals but especially dogs,

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Absolutely the perfect treasure

    What a delightful gift - I bought it for someone else, but I'm so enjoying this lovely, sweet book. If you are new to Mary Oliver's beautiful poetry, you need to check this out; if you or someone you know is in love with dogs, this will hit the mark. Very special.

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    Posted January 10, 2014

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    Posted January 3, 2014

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    Posted March 26, 2014

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    Posted November 12, 2013

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    Posted October 8, 2013

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