Evidence

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Overview

Never afraid to shed the pretense of academic poetry, never shy of letting the power of an image lie in unadorned language, Mary Oliver offers us poems of arresting beauty that reflect on the power of love and the great gifts of the natural world. Inspired by the familiar lines from William Wordsworth, “To me the meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears,” she uncovers the evidence presented to us daily by nature, in rivers and stones, willows and field corn, the ...

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Evidence: Poems

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Overview

Never afraid to shed the pretense of academic poetry, never shy of letting the power of an image lie in unadorned language, Mary Oliver offers us poems of arresting beauty that reflect on the power of love and the great gifts of the natural world. Inspired by the familiar lines from William Wordsworth, “To me the meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears,” she uncovers the evidence presented to us daily by nature, in rivers and stones, willows and field corn, the mockingbird’s “embellishments,” or the last hours of darkness.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In one of this book's 46 poems, Mary Oliver declares "this is a book / of the heart's rapture, / of hearing and praising." In Evidence, as always, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner expresses that rapture in imagery even more arresting because it is so unadorned. These poems remind us of the spare advice that Oliver once gave to budding writers: "Pay attention and cultivate astonishment."
From the Publisher
“A ‘nature’ poet in the league of Wordsworth, whose poetry is said to have inspired this volume. . . There is still almost audible excitement in her literary voice, but her nature mysticism seems to have reached a stage more of stillness—a quiet that is not so much a quality as a presence that informs most of her images . . . A subtle collection that sometimes teaches but never preaches. All the usual Oliver themes—the divine in the physical world, the importance of having loved, the power and consolation of words—are present.”
—Tim Pfaff, Bay Area Reporter
 
“Gloriously alive, inquisitive, and welcoming. A prolific and cherished poet, [Oliver] makes readers feel as though they’ve been part of the quest for wisdom and grace she records in her lucid, giving, prayerful poems . . . Gratitude is the mode here, and sustained attention is the vehicle . . . Within each lifting lyric, Oliver declares all of life holy.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist
 
“I think of Oliver as a fierce, uncompromising lyricist, a loyalist of the marshes. Hers is a voice we desperately need.”
—Maxine Kumin 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807069059
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 530,811
  • Product dimensions: 8.74 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, was acknowledged by the New York Times Book Review as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.” Her twenty books of poetry in­clude Swan, The Truro Bear and Other Adventures, and Red Bird. Oliver lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    "Evidence" by Mary Oliver

    Mary Oliver's sensitivity to nature and masterful verse is really a joy. Each publication/book better than the last.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

    Evidence: Poems

    Mary Oliver's poetry has an almost Zen-like precision as she gazes at the natural world. and the poems in this volume are no exception. Fans of her earlier poetry will still fine the short lines and vivid images that have made her one of the best-known poets in the U.S. Newcomers will find the influence of Dickinson, Frost and W.C. Williams to be quite prevalent in her verse. Overall, Evidence is an enjoyable collection of lyric poetry.

    Not all the poems in this collection are destined to be long-remembered, however. Oliver can sometimes slip into a voice that tries to pass off familiar wisdom as deep insight. She can also be quite sentimental at times, though at other times her vision is ice hard. Her spirituality veers from the orthodox Christian to the new age mystic, but both are always at the service of an adoration of nature; she seems to me to be a pantheist in Christian garb. These issues, though, did not prevent me from enjoying the collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Evidence, Poems by Mary Oliver

    Mary Oliver freshly recreates the natural world in her poems. Every time I read her I rediscover the beauty in the natural world - birds, flowers, animals, and more.
    She is especially good at revealing the value - dare I say the miracle - of the ordinary. In each natural object to which she chooses to pay attention she finds layers of meaning; expressions of beauty. She teaches her reader by the example of poetry to be patient enough to mine the ore of what is in front of us in this moment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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