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The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems
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The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The Apple Trees at Olema includes work from Robert Hass's first five books—Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials—as well as a substantial gathering of new poems, including a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musings on the nature of storytelling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative th ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Ecco (first published March 5th 2010)
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Read Hass' meter and you hear stories,
stories of love, pain, romance, depression, and sexuality.
Accessible narratives told through verse,
yet you still have the mystery of poetry:
Here everything seems clear,
firmly etched against the pale
smoky sky: sedge, flag, owl's clover,
rotting wharves.

The collection is divided into a few chapbooks, each book containing its unique aura. Longer poems, like "Some of David's Story,"contained sectioned pauses that I really liked because I could stop to consider
James Murphy
I like the poems of Robert Hass because they're so enormous in scope. His poems are large blocks of prose, built like a loaf of bread in which metaphors have been embedded like raisins. I like it that his poems are so developed, so all-encompassing. Hass is like a brilliant dinner conversationalist--he starts in one place but elegantly touches on several ideas before he's finished. Though tightly controlled, it seems a little like verbal improvisation. You think he's lost his way in the poem. Bu ...more
I'm glad I became acquainted with Hass' work. It showed me another aspect of poetry, another approach and type of voice, that can be found in the writing. It was a very warm and inviting kind of voice that drew me into all the poems and always did its best to keep my attention and offer something in return.

Hass noticeably loves nature. The references to plant and animal species, as well as geographical locations,is very dominant throughout the poems, in some sections more than others. Although t
The elegy for his brother, "August Notebook: A Death" is shattering -- superb. Much of the reviewing that this volume received in the press was a telling reaction to Hass's embrace of his role as a public poet. Embracing this role makes him a target for all those who would hew to the mainstream U.S. poetry without quite tolerating Hass's peculiar absorption of poetic styles from Rexroth to Gilbert to Oppen to Jeffers to Snyder to Paul Goodman to Palmer to Lowell. In short, he is too ecumenical. ...more
Kathleen Jones
The American poet Robert Hass wasn’t someone I’d taken much notice of until a Tuesday Poem friend shared ‘Meditation at Lagunitas’. It was extraordinary - not just the way the poet used words, but the thread of reasoning that moved through the poem. This was a poem about love, memory, longing (‘desire is full/of endless distances), and language itself:
.......‘the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what i
Diann Blakely
Hass's newest publication has as its anchor “Meditation at Lagunitas,” the poem whose opening lines became, almost overnight, a cultural mantra: “All the new thinking is about thinking / Hence it resembles all the old thinking.” In addition to offering us a carefully winnowed harvest to his own canon—see “My Mother’s Nipples” for an unexpected picking—from the past 30-odd years, Hass has worked tirelessly as a translator; and during his tenure in our nation’s capitol, he inaugurated “The Poet’s ...more
Full disclosure, Robert Hass's Praise is one of my favorite books of poetry ever. It may have been the first book of poetry that I thought I understood, and later when I went back and read Field Guide, I was equally as transcended. Since then I have had mixed feeling about Hass's other other books. Of course his Milosz translations are wonderful as are his work with Haiku, but nothing had struck me as much as those to earlier works, that is until now.

The Apple Trees at Olema is beautiful, scient
Sue Jelus
I first became acquainted with Robert Hass in the 1970's, through a little book he wrote called Field Guide. I was charmed by that book back then. So I was excited to find this book (at a Borders Close-Out sale)and was ready to fall in love with him all over again. That didn't happen. This compilation included some poems from Field Guide as well as many subsequent books, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Time and Materials. So I'm glad to have it in my library. But, overall, Hass's poems were ...more
Accessible & nature-inspired. Easy to read, and relatable - totally my style.
Dan Butterfass
I was excited to read the forty or so new poems, but disappointed that they didn't seem to break any new ground from the poet's previous book, Time and Materials. Moreover, the flat almost dull tone of these new poems just seemed to tread water. There wasn't a poem or line that stayed with me, that I could mentally summon after I'd read it. Despite this, I remain an ardent admirer of Hass' first three or four books -- of every volume up through Sun Under Wood. Those new to Hass might want to buy ...more
Normaly I dont read poems but this book was ok I liked some poems and didnt like others, but I think it was good overall. This book of poems has poems that will make you laugh, cry, happy, and sad like any good collection of poems should. I had never heard of this author so it exposed me to someone new and I will definatly try to read more of his stuff. I also liked the cover on this book alot and the title and the whole nature feel while reading this book. Overall I will say it was a worth whil ...more
I really enjoy Robert Hass in video readings and lectures, but was less interested in almost 400 pages of his poems. Of course, there were 5-star poems in the collection, but most were too long, too esoteric, or too experimental for my tastes. The simpler and shorter his poems, the more I tend to like them.
Hass (pronounced like lass, grass) is a wonderful American poet with sharp descriptive observations and a sense of history and place. If you've ever lived in Berkeley or the Bay Area in general, you'll find some wonderful surprises.
Nicole D
I thought this was a beautiful book of poetry. Something for everyone - some long story poems, and some nice short reflective ones. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who likes poetry. Hass really has a way with words.
Amanda Giffi
The new poems are wonderful. The selected poems include a variety of his best work, most well known work, and poems that may have been forgotten until now. My copy is especially special as it's signed by the poet himself.
Justin Crawford
This thick selection of poems maps the full evolution of Robert Hass, like seeing Whitman's first edition of Leaves of Grass and comparing it to the "death-bed" edition. He is a true sight for sore eyes.
Keith Riegert
Great collection of new and old poems from a treasured poet. I loved seeing Hass' poems dating way back to FIELD GUIDE; it's a wonderful way to experience the evolution of his writing.
Won this on first reads.

Good poetry. I found that I picked it up, it was thought provoking. I will definately be picking it up again.
Helyn Christensen
While I didn't necessarily learn from this book, I thoroughly enjoyed Hass's poems and recommend them to everyone.
"those who dont take the old white horse take the evening train"
Bill Nelson
A bit mixed. Some were brilliant, others were like reviews.
Drift away with Hass's magical poetry.
Genevieve L.
Brilliant! Luminous!
Some great poems.
Dec 07, 2012 Katy added it
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Aug 25, 2015
Emilie Menzel
Emilie Menzel marked it as to-read
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Poetry at its best 1 6 Apr 20, 2010 02:51PM  
  • Averno
  • One with Others: [a little book of her days]
  • Rookery
  • Space, in Chains
  • Migration: New and Selected Poems
  • Second Space: New Poems
  • The Eternal City: Poems
  • Stag's Leap: Poems
  • Radial Symmetry
  • This Clumsy Living
  • Fall Higher
  • The Best of It: New and Selected Poems
  • Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry
  • Short Talks
  • Lighthead
  • Selected Poems
  • Poet's Choice
  • Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair
Robert Hass was born in San Francisco and lives in Berkeley, California, where he teaches at the University of California. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. A MacArthur Fellow and a two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, he has published poems, literary essays, and translations. He is married to the poet Brenda Hillman.
More about Robert Hass...
Time and Materials Praise The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa Human Wishes Sun Under Wood

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