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Dog Songs
     

Dog Songs

4.3 21
by Mary Oliver
 

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

Mary Oliver's Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet's relationship to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her

Overview

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

Mary Oliver's Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet's relationship to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it. 

Dog Songs includes visits with old friends, like Oliver's beloved Percy, and introduces still others in poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver's life emerge as fellow travelers and as guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection. 

 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The New York Times
Dog Songs... is a sweet golden retriever of a book that curls up with the reader.”

The Boston Globe
“Oliver… is one of our most adored poets, and a longtime lover of dogs. The popularity of [Dog Songs] feels as inevitable and welcome as a wagging tail upon homecoming.” 

Oprah.com

“Mary Oliver is a canine lover par excellence. Her combo of woman’s best friend and poetry is utterly irresistible.”

The Rumpus

“Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs is, plainly put, a lovely and accessible book of poems.”

Time Out

 “Oliver’s capacity for simple ecstasy in response to the natural world remains. The new Dog Songs turns… material about canines into something meaningful.”

Bust Magazine 

 “The set of poems all feature dogs, a species much beloved by the poet; she writes of her canine companions with as much awe and reverence as she does other miraculous beasts and natural phenomena. They read as embodiments of the natural order, comprehending the cycle of life and death in ways no human can.”

Brain Pickings: 

“Dog Songs collects her most soul-stirring poems and short prose celebrating that special human-canine relationship and what it reveals about the meaning of our own lives — a beautiful manifestation of Oliver’s singular sieve for extracting from the particularities of the poetic subject the philosophical universalities of the human condition to illuminate what it means to live a good life, a full life, a life of purpose and presence.”

Bookish, The Houston Chronicle: 

“The collection invites us to linger awhile in the pure happiness Oliver feels toward dogs, most notably, her beloved dog Percy… For Oliver, nature is our teacher and dogs some of the best professors.” 

The Bark

“Renowned for her love of nature, Ms. Oliver writes exquisite, lyrical poems that… remind the reader of how much there is to love in this world. Nowhere is this love more evident than in Oliver’s latest collection, Dog Songs… These poems will make you smile, laugh, cry and nod your head in delighted agreement.”

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594204784
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
263,271
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
The New York Times
Dog Songs....is a sweet golden retriever of a book that curls up with the reader.”

Meet the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

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Dog Songs 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
maggieFZ More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MatthewK17815 More than 1 year ago
Mary Oliver has been one of my favorite poets since having discovered her work in 2012. What I love about her poetry is the duality of it; what I mean by that is that you can read it and take the meaning of each poem at it's face value and find it wonderful but also the depth is there if one wishes to troll it and you will find something truly profound in each of her works. This collection is full of poems about dogs and Ms. Oliver's understanding of not only the remarkable nature of canines but also our relationship to our beloved dogs is truly amazing. Take each poem like a sip of fine wine, savor it, mull it over in your mind, and cherish the fact that we have this amazing woman in existence to give us these beautiful works. A truly profound and wonderful collection, recommended obviously for fans of Ms. Oliver but also to anyone who loves or has loved a dog. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
kathydianad More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample because it seemed like a good book but it only went to the copyright page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a gal en eh
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Wild-Lavender More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for dog lovers. Not her best work otherwise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Oliver never disappoints.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MrsDRD More than 1 year ago
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.
searcher_10 More than 1 year ago
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,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago