Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poemsby Mary Oliver
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"What good company Mary Oliver is!" the Los Angeles Times has remarked. And never more so than in this extraordinary and engaging gathering of nine essays, accompanied by a brief selection of new prose poems and poems. (One of the essays has been chosen as among the best of the year by The Best American Essays 1998, another by The Anchor Essay Annual.) With the grace and precision that have won her legions of admirers, Oliver talks here of turtle eggs and housebuilding, of her surprise at the sudden powerful flight of swans, of the "thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else." She talks of her own poems and of some of her favorite poets: Poe, writing of "our unescapable destiny," Frost and his ability to convey at once that "everything is all right, and everything is not all right," the "unmistakably joyful" Hopkins, and Whitman, seeking through his poetry "the replication of a miracle." And Oliver offers us a glimpse as well of her "private and natural self -- something that must in the future be taken into consideration by any who would claim to know me."
"What good company Mary Oliver is!" The Los Angeles Times
"A treat for those who know and like her poems and a good introduction for the general reader who has yet to discover her work." Pittsburg Post Gazette
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Read an Excerpt
To believe in the soul -- to believe in it exactly as much and as hardily as one believes in a mountain, say, or a fingernail, which is ever in view -- imagine the consequences!
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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Oliver has planted her midwestern roots in the shifting sands of Cape Cod. Her solid education and a genuine love and sensitivity for the bounty and variety of the natural environment nurture and inform her poetry. What Molly Malone Cook understood of photography, Mary Oliver develops in her sensitive word pictures, pictures of beauty and understanding, focusing on that which is true and good. She combines an alchemic mix of insightful understanding with an equally astute sense of word. The gentle grace of her poems is more than simply 'feel good'; it instructs and enlightens.