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Thirst
     

Thirst

4.0 4
by Mary Oliver
 

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

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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
From the Publisher
To read Thirst, is to feel gratititude for the simple fact of being alive. This is not surprising, as it is the effect [Oliver's] best work has produced in readers for the past 43 years. —Angela O'Donnell, America Magazine

"Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing." —Alicia Ostriker, The Nation

"It has always seemed, across her [many] books of poetry, . . . 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." —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

"Mary Oliver. In a region that has produced most of the nation's poet laureates, it is risky to single out one fragile 71-year-old bard of Provincetown. But Mary Oliver, who won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1983, is my choice for her joyous, accessible, intimate observations of the natural world. Her Wild Geese has become so popular it now graces posters in dorm rooms across the land. But don't hold that against her. Read almost anything in New and Selected Poems. She teaches us the profound act of paying attention—a living wonder that makes it possible to appreciate all the others."—Renée Loth, Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807068960
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
10/04/2006
Edition description:
None
Pages:
88
Sales rank:
551,305
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

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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