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New And Selected Poems Volume Two Limited Edition

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Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape- New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, an anthology of forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-and sixty-nine poems hand-picked by Mary Oliver from six of her last eight books, is a major addition to a career in poetry that has spanned nearly five decades. Now recognized as an Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape- New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, an anthology of forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-and sixty-nine poems hand-picked by Mary Oliver from six of her last eight books, is a major addition to a career in poetry that has spanned nearly five decades. Now recognized as an unparalleled poet of the natural world, Mary Oliver writes with unmatched dexterity and a profound appreciation for the divergence and convergence of all living things. Mary Oliver is always searching for the soul of things. In poem after poem, her investigations go from the humble green bean that nourishes her and makes her wonder if "something/-I can't name it-watches as I walk the/rows, accepting the gift of their lives/to assist mine" to the vast, untouchable bliss of "things you can't reach./But you can reach out to them, and all day long./The wind, the bird flying away./The idea of God." Oliver's search grows and is informed by experience, meditation, perception, and discernment. And all the while, during her quest, she is constantly surprised and fortified by joy. This graceful volume, designed to be paired with New and Selected Poems, Volume One, includes new poems on birds, toads, flowers, insects, bodies of water, and the extraordinary experience of the everyday in our lives. In the words of Alicia Ostriker,'Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing.' In both the older and new poems, Mary Oliver is a poet at the height of her control of image and language.


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Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape- New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, an anthology of forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-and sixty-nine poems hand-picked by Mary Oliver from six of her last eight books, is a major addition to a career in poetry that has spanned nearly five decades. Now recognized as an Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape- New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, an anthology of forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-and sixty-nine poems hand-picked by Mary Oliver from six of her last eight books, is a major addition to a career in poetry that has spanned nearly five decades. Now recognized as an unparalleled poet of the natural world, Mary Oliver writes with unmatched dexterity and a profound appreciation for the divergence and convergence of all living things. Mary Oliver is always searching for the soul of things. In poem after poem, her investigations go from the humble green bean that nourishes her and makes her wonder if "something/-I can't name it-watches as I walk the/rows, accepting the gift of their lives/to assist mine" to the vast, untouchable bliss of "things you can't reach./But you can reach out to them, and all day long./The wind, the bird flying away./The idea of God." Oliver's search grows and is informed by experience, meditation, perception, and discernment. And all the while, during her quest, she is constantly surprised and fortified by joy. This graceful volume, designed to be paired with New and Selected Poems, Volume One, includes new poems on birds, toads, flowers, insects, bodies of water, and the extraordinary experience of the everyday in our lives. In the words of Alicia Ostriker,'Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing.' In both the older and new poems, Mary Oliver is a poet at the height of her control of image and language.

30 review for New And Selected Poems Volume Two Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Right in the middle of her mostly human-less poems, there's one that says that if only Donald Rumsfeld would crawl out of the President's armpit and play with her little dog, he would be, for a moment, a rational man. I laughed out loud. An insult a career in the making. Black bears, lilies, wild geese, ants, fields, rivers, trees, and Donald Rumsfeld in the President's armpit. Thank you for all that you do, Mary Oliver.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    This volume of poetry is supremely accessible. While it would be exhausting and difficult to read straight through a volume by most poets, I glided from cover to cover of this book in less than two hours. Oliver is so gentle and transparent with her readers, whom she directly addresses with great frequency, that it feels as if she is holding your hand on a guided tour (with dogs) through a country side full of singing birds and (somehow not depressingly) animal carcasses. Since a search for meani This volume of poetry is supremely accessible. While it would be exhausting and difficult to read straight through a volume by most poets, I glided from cover to cover of this book in less than two hours. Oliver is so gentle and transparent with her readers, whom she directly addresses with great frequency, that it feels as if she is holding your hand on a guided tour (with dogs) through a country side full of singing birds and (somehow not depressingly) animal carcasses. Since a search for meaning can be fatiguing (and fruitless), Oliver makes absolutely certain that her readers know what she is up to, both in terms of her aesthetics and her mission. (As I quote her, I will not be including tiny slashes to indicate line breaks, since she tends to write in fairly conventional and complete sentences and since her line breaks rarely warrant special attention): "I want to make poems that say right out, plainly what I mean, that don't go looking for the laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves." "It is what I was born for--to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world--to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation." "What else can we do when the mysteries present themselves but hope to pluck from the basket the brisk words that will applaud them" She is a celebrant; she is full of praise and positivity. She is not ashamed to find ordinary things miraculous and to exhort people to "look" and to "listen" with the conviction that doing so is a life-saving (or, at least, mood-elevating) endeavor. In this regard, she is a bit like a no frills Rilke, a less philosophical Annie Dillard or an aerated and slightly less overtly Christ-obsessed Gerard Manley Hopkins. Also, she is a bit like Francis Ponge, especially in her comfort with prose and her love for humble subjects. I absolutely love everyone that I just compared her to and was impressed that she reminded me only of writers I devour and never of ones that I reject. Her dogged humility somehow makes her leaps of spirit more lovable and open, especially because she has an endearing habit of back peddling, now and then, after particularly bold or poetic comparisons, as if to make sure that her readers remember that she is not taking her words as seriously as she is taking her mission. For instance, "At my feet the white-petaled daisies display the small suns of their center-piece, their--if you don't mind my saying so--their hearts. Of course I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know." Or, for her informality: "I have read probably a hundred narratives where someone saw just what I am seeing. Various things happened next. A fairly long list, I won't go into it." These appearances of a conversational tone ensure that everyone can keep up, they are inclusive and tremendously effective. They also soften the more critical edge of her worldview. Oliver has little time for moping, complaining, sorrowing--little time, in general, for people who turn inward and spurn all of the miracles/joy/beauty that are available for free every day of the year. "The poet with his face in his hands" is an absolute gem in this vein. And for a concluding line, how is "Be ignited, or be gone."? This volume was enough of a pleasure that I will read more of Oliver (and I would recommend giving this volume to anyone: young people, your grandparents); but as the collection moved further into her past (only as far as the mid 1990s), I did notice that she seemed more rhetorical, a little bit more Christian in language (angels, lord, Alleluia) and a bit less warming and impressive in her lines about sparrow song. We'll see. It doesn't matter how she wrote, because she's clearly turned into a voice of affirmation, encouragement and wonder.

  3. 5 out of 5

    andy

    I love Mary Oliver’s poetry just like that of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Oliver’s poetry isn’t for a sweet taste of natural beauty. No, that is a misconception. It is about love of life. It is meant to be be chewed, syllable by syllable. Read it if you don’t believe me. I can’t distinguish between poems, just like one couldn’t distinguish between children, but since I posted this and it makes my point, here it is: https://twitter.com/exlibrisetc/statu... I love Mary Oliver’s poetry just like that of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Oliver’s poetry isn’t for a sweet taste of natural beauty. No, that is a misconception. It is about love of life. It is meant to be be chewed, syllable by syllable. Read it if you don’t believe me. I can’t distinguish between poems, just like one couldn’t distinguish between children, but since I posted this and it makes my point, here it is: https://twitter.com/exlibrisetc/statu...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    Probably a 3.5 for me. Some of these poems were so so beautiful and life giving. They are like 95% about nature though and as a city girl at heart I couldn’t always relate. I also got a little bogged down by the end. Really appreciated how overall accessible these were though! I don’t know a lot about poetry but I was definitely able to appreciate these with just one or two reads.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    I finished this at 7 pm in a Panera on New Year's Eve and it's the best book of poetry I've ever read in my life (you may say, "Of course, it's Mary Oliver" and I say, "Okay, fair.")

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Jayne

    “One would say she was a simple woman, made happy by simple things. I think this was true. And more than once, in my long life, I have wished to be her.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I love this woman -- the way she thinks, the way she sees the world. The way she teaches us to be attentive: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” and “I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.” ~ Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cait Flanders

    "Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?"

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    “On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God— a worthy pastime. Near me, I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe.” (Song of the Builders) 1 Sentence Summary: A collection of poetry about life, love, nature, and the world. My Thoughts: I adore Mary Oliver’s poetry and this volum “On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God— a worthy pastime. Near me, I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe.” (Song of the Builders) 1 Sentence Summary: A collection of poetry about life, love, nature, and the world. My Thoughts: I adore Mary Oliver’s poetry and this volume was no different! It’s just so gorgeous. Some of my favorite parts: “What if you finally saw that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day and every day—who knows how, but they do it—were more precious, more meaningful than gold?” (How Would You Live Then?) “Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” (Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?) “I don’t know the name of this bird, I can only imagine his glittering beak tucked in a white wing while the clouds— which he has summoned from the north— which he has taught to be mild, and silent— thicken, and begin to fall into the world below like stars, or the feathers of some unimaginable bird that loves us, that is asleep now, and silent— that has turned itself into snow.” (White-eyes) “I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it nothing fancy. But it seems impossible. Whatever the subject, the morning sun glimmers it. The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open and becomes a star. The ants bore into the peony bud and there is the dark pinprick well of sweetness. As for the stones on the beach, forget it. Each one could be set in gold.” (This World) Recommend to: Poetry lovers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kurt Ostrow

    "Be ignited, or be gone" (57). A little one-note, typical Mary Oliver stuff, not more than a handful of new discoveries that wowed me. Still really nice, and the perfect book to take with you on a walk through the woods, a picnic in the park, or a hike up the mountain.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I usually don't love these sorts of long, "new and selected" collections, but when I heard that Mary Oliver died I thought about how many times I've thought "I should really read her" and never followed through. Besides 'Wild Geese' I had barely read any of her poems, and this was what the library had. I am SO glad I picked it up. She is a very consistent poet, both in the quality and tone of her poems, and the way she connected to the natural world spoke so clearly to me. It was a joy to work t I usually don't love these sorts of long, "new and selected" collections, but when I heard that Mary Oliver died I thought about how many times I've thought "I should really read her" and never followed through. Besides 'Wild Geese' I had barely read any of her poems, and this was what the library had. I am SO glad I picked it up. She is a very consistent poet, both in the quality and tone of her poems, and the way she connected to the natural world spoke so clearly to me. It was a joy to work through these poems, and it was especially interesting to note the times that death in various forms came up, which leant a lot of nuance to the few quotes that people had been sharing around in the wake of her passing. We lost a giant, but I'm so glad that I have so much of her work left to look forward to.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roger DeBlanck

    Mary Oliver is the astonished, celebratory observer of the natural world. Her poems take in every sight and sound, and she makes sure to absorb nature’s energy, allowing it to pull her into alignment with every bird and deer, every tree and flower, every breeze and rainfall. Her poems are like benedictions and prayers. She is generous in giving back to the world all the love, passion, and wonder it has produced in her. She immerses herself in opportunities to experience joy and know compassion. Mary Oliver is the astonished, celebratory observer of the natural world. Her poems take in every sight and sound, and she makes sure to absorb nature’s energy, allowing it to pull her into alignment with every bird and deer, every tree and flower, every breeze and rainfall. Her poems are like benedictions and prayers. She is generous in giving back to the world all the love, passion, and wonder it has produced in her. She immerses herself in opportunities to experience joy and know compassion. She announces her admiration and devotion for the existence of all living things, and she yearns to gain the keenest of lessons from the cycles of nature on how to live life to its fullest. Her poems are also like reveries where she confesses her willingness to transform herself into the elemental grandeur and mystery of the natural world. Mary Oliver’s poetry captures an ecstatic relationship with everything around her, and few poets can make life feel so meaningful the way she does.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Arta

    "But mostly I just stand in the dark field, in the middle of the world, breathing in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name but breath and light, wind and rain." (What Is There Beyond Knowing) This volume was not as good as the first one, but still very good. Mary Oliver's poems are inspired by nature. She writes about birds, dogs, trees, sometimes people or a certain sentiment, but somehow I could relate to almost all of them. Her poems are so positive, sometimes bitter-sweet, but th "But mostly I just stand in the dark field, in the middle of the world, breathing in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name but breath and light, wind and rain." (What Is There Beyond Knowing) This volume was not as good as the first one, but still very good. Mary Oliver's poems are inspired by nature. She writes about birds, dogs, trees, sometimes people or a certain sentiment, but somehow I could relate to almost all of them. Her poems are so positive, sometimes bitter-sweet, but they make me feel good or smile. If you're new to poetry, like myself, I would definitely recommend Mary Oliver's poetry. Especially the first volume. Poems I very much enjoyed: - Wild, Wild - What Is There Beyond Knowing - Patience - Snow Geese - Mindful - Stars - March

  14. 5 out of 5

    l.

    I am amazed by my hate for her poetry! example: "They blew in the wind, softly, this way, that way. They were not disappointed when they saw the scissors, rather they brace themselves sweetly and shone with willingness. They were on tall and tender poles, with wheels of leaves. They were soft as the ears of kittens. They felt warm in recognition of the summer day. A dozen was plenty. I held them in my arms. They were silent the way the deepest water is silent. If they wondered where they were goin I am amazed by my hate for her poetry! example: "They blew in the wind, softly, this way, that way. They were not disappointed when they saw the scissors, rather they brace themselves sweetly and shone with willingness. They were on tall and tender poles, with wheels of leaves. They were soft as the ears of kittens. They felt warm in recognition of the summer day. A dozen was plenty. I held them in my arms. They were silent the way the deepest water is silent. If they wondered where they were going they didn't show it, as they sprinkled freely over my shirt and my hands their precious gold dust." I don't mean to say that she writes badly, just that I find it nauseating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I have been trying to find a poet I like, and Mary Oliver is probably one of my current favorites. This collection is beautiful in all senses the word can be used; I normally find nature poems and stories hard to get into, but Oliver uses nature and living creatures to illuminate the self (or the "soul"). When I read her poems, I feel as if I am finally seeing the things that are important: the world around us as it is, words that are used to create something beautiful, and who I am, and could b I have been trying to find a poet I like, and Mary Oliver is probably one of my current favorites. This collection is beautiful in all senses the word can be used; I normally find nature poems and stories hard to get into, but Oliver uses nature and living creatures to illuminate the self (or the "soul"). When I read her poems, I feel as if I am finally seeing the things that are important: the world around us as it is, words that are used to create something beautiful, and who I am, and could be--if I choose to look instead of searching, if I choose to fall into, instead of holding back, if I choose to breathe instead of fighting breath. She inspires me to write.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ezra

    These are poems that you thought were impossible until you read them. Mary Oliver takes poetry back to its simple original purpose: to celebrate. I am skeptical of nature poetry normally. It seems so "wishy-washy." But this stuff is sturdy, it makes you feel alive, it talks about the world how it really is and it made me remember real-life beauty. I mean, I think if you wanted to define "beauty" to somebody who never heard of it, one of these poems would be the thing to give them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rafael

    "And now I have finished my walk" ...through this beautiful, tender garten of poetry wonders! And every forest path I walk, whenever I see a heron or listen to a singing bird I get back to your natural kingdom, Mary, and there is nothing else to be done, no higher purpose or meaning to be found beyond the miraculous simplicity of our bare existence. "And I am just standing, quietly, in the darkness, under the tree." ("White Pine", p. 175).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacey D.

    I must admit -- I selected Mary Oliver's poetry collection only after spying the cover of the book. She looks so much like my mother; yet in spirit, the two could not be farther apart. These poems slow down your heartbeat and make you take a good look at nature and beauty all around us. As she says in her eloquent poem Mindful, "Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant -- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab...".

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Seamus Heany once signed a book of poems for Angela and he talked about how poems we enjoy give us back what was ours (they reminds us previous experiences we've had in our life). This book of poems does this also; it takes you back to experiences especially of the outdoors & wildlife. This was Angela's intent when she bought this book of poems for me to read. I am very grateful. Seamus Heany once signed a book of poems for Angela and he talked about how poems we enjoy give us back what was ours (they reminds us previous experiences we've had in our life). This book of poems does this also; it takes you back to experiences especially of the outdoors & wildlife. This was Angela's intent when she bought this book of poems for me to read. I am very grateful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Crysta

    I adore Oliver, and this is the first time I've read a collection of her poetry, mostly one or two a night over a couple months. I love her imagery, her connection with nature, and her sheer joy and wonder at being alive. She asks haunting questions and leaves you to ponder the answers. A poem for every day, every season.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sunni

    This collection is one I return to again and again. Even though Mary Oliver has published a lot since this book, and much of it has been very good, none of it has surpassed this one. Everything is new and surprising.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nancy McKinley

    Excellent. Fresh, Earthy and whimsical are the words I'd use to describe Mary Oliver's work. I delighted in her words and her slant on life, especially the natural one. I will seek out more of her books in the future.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jypsy

    In my opinion, Mary Oliver never writes anything not worth reading. I love all of her work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I shouldn't need reminding, but I do. And Oliver does just that: She reminds me why the world needs poetry

  25. 4 out of 5

    Guinevere Mare

    I want to roll around in Mary Oliver's words like a dog in a meadow full of deer pee. Happy Poetry Month!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Derek Parsons

    No poet speaks so clearly to me. That is all.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 5 STARS (Review Not on Blog) I am a huge fan of Mary Oliver and this is a great collection for newbies and fan. The poems are selected from Oliver's past collections.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I love Mary Oliver very much!! I have nothing to say about this book of poems, other than it was a sheer delight to read a few every morning right after waking up!!!! Mary Oliver made waking up at 4:00 a.m. in the dead of winter palatable and almost holy, and that's the biggest recommendation I can give.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Timely and lovely. Oh, to be 'a simple woman, made happy by simple things.' 'So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love, there is not a single inch of emptiness.'

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    She’s just the best if we all looked at the world like her it’d be so much better

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