Thirst

( 10 )

Overview

Thirst, a collection of fortythree new poems from Pulitzer Prizewinner Mary Oliver, introduces two new directions in the poet's work. Grappling with grief at the death of her beloved partner of over forty years, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the frst time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her ...
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Thirst: Poems

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Overview

Thirst, a collection of fortythree new poems from Pulitzer Prizewinner Mary Oliver, introduces two new directions in the poet's work. Grappling with grief at the death of her beloved partner of over forty years, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the frst time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her work for four decades.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In an earlier poem, Mary Oliver wrote, "When we die the body breaks open / like a river; / the old body goes on, climbing the hill." In Thirst, Oliver moves forward in the wake of her beloved partner's death. As always, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet hinges her reflections on the natural world, never allowing them to dwindle into pointy sentiments or maudlin thoughts. A major collection from one of our most gifted poets.
From the Publisher
Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among out finest poets, and still growing.—Alicia Ostriker, The Nation

"These are life-enhancing and redemptive poems that coax the sublime from the subliminal."—Sally Connolly, Poetry

"It has always seemed, across her 15 books of poetry, five of prose and several essays and chapbooks, that Mary Oliver might leave us at any minute. Even a 1984 Pulitzer Prize couldn't pin her to the ground. She'd change quietly into a heron or a bear and fly or walk on forever. Her poems contain windows, doors, transformations, hints on how to escape the body; there's the 'glamour of death' and the 'life after the earth-life.' This urge to be transformed is yoked to a joy in this moment, this life, this body. 'Every day I walk out into the world / to be dazzled, then to be reflective,' she writes in 'Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond.' 'I think there isn't anything in this world I don't / admire,' she writes in 'Hum'…The new poems teem with creation: ravens, bees, hawks, box turtles, bears. The landscape is Thoreauvian: ponds, marsh, grass and cattails; New England's 'salt brightness'; and fields in 'pale twilight.'"—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

"I think of Oliver as a fierce, uncompromising lyricist, a loyalist of the marshes. Hers is a voice we desperately need."—Maxine Kumin, Women's Review of Books

Publishers Weekly
Consoling, and intense interaction with the natural world abounds in the 43 poems of Pulitzer Prize-winner Oliver's new collection, as her many readers might expect. The trees whisper, a ribbon snake imparts lessons and the poet is likened to a swimming otter. What has changed, though, is that Oliver's new work reflects her faith in God and her grief over the death of her longtime partner. Those who do not share her brand of faith may or may not find its terms difficult to accept-"Everything is His./ The door. The door jamb"-but the loss of a loved one is more universal: of grief, she writes, "I went closer, / and I did not die." Still, many of these poems mention or court cataclysmic loss while refusing to dwell in it. At times, Oliver's will-to-gratitude can feel like preaching or admonishment; Oliver describes a luna moth with "a pale green wing whose rim is like a musical notation," before adding, "Have you noticed?" The role of danger or evil in this Eden is mostly unacknowledged: "... the things of this world / ... are kind, and maybe// also troubled." (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Oliver, an award-winning "nature poet" with an eclectic following, here reveals an early desire that may come as a surprise to some readers: "I had such longing for virtue, for company./I wanted Christ to be as close as the cross I wear. I wanted to read and serve, to touch the altar linen." Some poems address God, while others discuss the world: a delicate moth, a dear friend, the dog, Percy. Bereft after the death of her longtime partner, Oliver finds strength in a stoic struggle toward pure love that transcends one person. In this frame of mind, even a late-day walk in a snow storm brings comfort: "this world,/which is falling apart now,/which is white and wild,/which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith." In these self-effacing poems, Oliver continues her work of loving the world, acknowledging that not all love is returned and that "in matters of love/of this kind/there are things we long to do/but must not do." For all collections.
—E.M. Kaufman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807068960
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 10/4/2006
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 524,102
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is one of the most celebrated and best-selling poets in America. Her books include Red Bird; Our World; Thirst; Blue Iris; New and Selected Poems, Volume One; and New and Selected Poems, Volume Two. She has also published five books of prose, including Rules for the Dance and, most recently, Long Life. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    THIRST IS ELOQUENT AND MYSTICAL

    I was drawn to the title because living in the desert thirst is an ever present concern.

    I was delighted when I began reading THIRST to find it was about the other unquenchable THIRST in one's life, the search for peace and joy, and a higher being.

    Mary Oliver creates from her palate of words some of the most wonderful places a reader would want to go. The poetry style is easy reading. I would classify her writing as excerpts of insights rather than poems.

    Mary Oliver's THIRST enlightened my mind and delighted my soul. I would encourage anyone who is seeking peace, quite, and perhaps even their God, to read THIRST, Poems by Mary Oliver.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Oliver touches my soul once again

    OLIVER, Mary. Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver. Beacon Press. 2006. 71 p. 5 stars.

    Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Mary Oliver has penned another collection of forty-three moving and meaningful poems. Coping with the loss of her lifelong partner, Oliver's latest book contains poems full of grief, confusion and spiritual hope. Similar to her other works (of which there are over 20), Thirst focuses on the themes of the natural world, the fluid physical environment and living beings; as a result Oliver presents us with a heart-felt, basic and pure way of looking at life (and death as a part of life). "Wherever else I live-in music, in words, in the fires of the heart, I abide just as deeply in this nameless, indivisible place, this world, which is falling apart now, which is white and wild, which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith, our deepest prayers" (2-3). As always, Oliver is able to describe what we feel and see in a pure and remarkable way. She is not gratuitous with her words (some poems are only two sentences long) yet she conveys a sentiment or thought beautifully.
    The book's layout is simplistic; there are no illustrations except for the cover photograph. The cover art is made to mimic a linen journal. The font is the same throughout and basic in style. The reader is forced to focus on Oliver's poems, her words. Her basic themes and simple style allow readers new to the genre to approach poetry without feeling lost or overwhelmed. This volume would be suitable for high school readers and should be available to anyone with an appreciation for nature or life's trials and triumphs. After completing this collection, I can only say I was thirsty for more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Deeply moving

    I found Thirst to feels like a book of prayers and not poetry. It was warm and welcoming and just what I needed to help me through a dark time in life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Is Oliver Thirsty Enough?

    No.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    Tim

    Where were we?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Unreadable sections

    All small typed examples are unreadable even if you increase font size to very high. The rest of the content is great. Had to quit reading it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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