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The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The Truro Bear and Other Adventures, a companion volume to Owls and Other Fantasies and Blue Iris, brings together ten new poems, thirty-five of Oliver's classic poems, and two essays all about mammals, insects, and reptiles. The award-winning poet considers beasts of all kinds: bears, snakes, spiders, porcupines, humpback whales, hermit crabs, and, of course, her beloved ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robin
Mar 03, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Oliver's poetry is like walking with a close friend while talking about all those things that "other" people would find a little strange.
David
Dec 17, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There as so many wonderful stories out there and I have read many poets who show much talent and creativity. Real talent, however, is evident when one finds a collection of poems that speaks to the heart and walks with one's soul. Nature provides such a wonderful canvas for creativity and acts almost like God's poetry if we just take the time to appreciate it. This collection shows the joy, beauty, and the precious gift that animals and nature truly are and is easily one of my all time favorites ...more
Eunice Moral
I definitely loved the Percy poems!
Joshua Delos reyes
Dec 14, 2015 Joshua Delos reyes rated it really liked it
Black Snake

I startled a black snake: he
flew over the grass and hid his face

under a leaf, the rest of him in plain sight.
Little brother, often I've done the same.

Mary Oliver's The Truro Bear and Other Adventures; Poems and Essays taught me the simple pleasures of noticing.
Just noticing.

Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,

its spirit
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields o
...more
Heather Bradley
Oct 05, 2008 Heather Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last 10 poems about Percy, her dog, make the book a worthy buy! This is one I will go to again and again.
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 23, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
What can I say? I have made it clear how much I love Mary Oliver and this collection is no different. I am including the poems from this collection that I just cannot live without and want to be able to reference again. However, the best part of this collection for me was the essay titled Swoon. I may have to type that one out for myself because it is so beautiful and...it is about a spider!

The Other Kingdoms
Consider the other kingdoms. The
trees, for example, with their mellow-sounding
titles: oa
...more
Bryan Reyes
Sep 08, 2014 Bryan Reyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers and animal lovers
I've read this book as a break from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. I smiled when I learned that I can't escape from Concord with this book as it also talks about our nature (flora and fauna). In fact, a line from Thoreau's Concord was mentioned by Mary Oliver in this book. I just kept on reading since I'm a nature lover—though not as avid as the two poets.

Truro is a simple book about our animal friends. What they do, how they get by, what they think and even what they say.
...more
David
May 27, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
rare foray into poetry for me. Mostly accessible, short, observational poems about animals or other aspects of nature. About 75% of the time I had a blah reaction like "ok, fine, yes, that's what a spider web looks like alright" but once in a while (e.g., one about a humpback whale) I was able to get into it more and found that it evoked a clear image and associated emotion. There's a particularly good series of poems about her dog -- I'm by no means a dog person but nevertheless appreciated the ...more
rachel
Percy (One)

Our new dog, named for the beloved poet,
ate a book which unfortunately we had
left unguarded.
Fortunately, it was the Bhagavad Gita,
of which many copies are available.
Every day now, as Percy grows
into the beauty of his life, we touch
his wild, curly head and say,

"Oh, wisest of little dogs."


Mary Oliver's poems make my heart ache with love for the natural world and for the world of men of gentle souls equally. For worlds beyond this one, too.
Lani M
Feb 06, 2016 Lani M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life

Love, love, love, says Percy.
And hurry as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.

Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Then, trust.

Percy is her lovely dog, btw. The one that ate the whole book of Bhagavad-Gita that made him the wisest of little dogs. She composed another verse about that story when she was busy reading a book while Percy wanted her to walk with him. Percy said “I ate the whole book once and i
...more
Laura
Apr 21, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
When I first opened this volume, I did not realize it included a number of previously published poems so I was surprised as I recognized a few. But Oliver's words, images and humor are always a pleasure, sometimes even more so the second or third time around.

My new favorites: carrying the snake to the garden, Swimming with otter, and the Percy poems.

I am so grateful that Oliver's poems and essays continue to anchor me to the earth and encourage my flights with the birds.
Jsarno49
Mar 12, 2011 Jsarno49 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful collection of poems by Mary Oliver. For those of us who live in rural areas, her poetry reveals the reverence and joy of living surrounded by wildlife. In "Five A.M. in the Pinewoods" she describes her meeting with two deer. She concludes, "I was thinking:/so this is how you swim inward,/so this is how you flow outward,/so this is how you pray." She also includes 13 Percy poems about their new dog. These will bring a smile to any dog lover's face.
Mark Robison
Nov 22, 2015 Mark Robison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a short compilation of my favorite subject of Mary Oliver’s writing: animals. It contains 35 old poems and 10 new ones, plus two previously published essays. What can I say, I love them all, even if I’ve read most before. “I startled a young black snake: he/ flew over the grass and hid his face/ under a leaf, the rest of him in plain sight./ Little brother, often I’ve done the same.” Grade: A
Anne Daigler
Jul 18, 2011 Anne Daigler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetry is my thing. I write it, I've slammed it, I read it, I've spoken it...and Mary Oliver is one of my favs, and this is my fav book of Mary Oliver's. There's really no way to express how awesome her words are until you read this. My personal favorite? "Carrying the Snake to the Garden". I had to re-read and underline and highlight over and over; I was in disbelief that something so wonderful could be written.
John Gillespie
Sep 13, 2015 John Gillespie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept hearing about Mary Oliver from so many different sources and I read so little poetry that I feel a little ashamed of myself, so I searched my local library and checked out everything by her I could find. I don't know if this is the best book to begin with, but I was entirely captivated throughout this volume. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Thoreau or Annie Dillard, two of my favorite naturalist-writers. If you have any favorite books by Oliver, send those recommendations on!
Sharon Bodnar
Oct 31, 2014 Sharon Bodnar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved being able to pick up this book and be transported into nature and the summer. Although I finished it today I am really not done with it--I will keep it near to revisit these wonderful poems. I particularly enjoyed her essay about the spider in her web in the staircase, busily laying her eggs and wrapping up her prey; it was so beautifully written.
Sylvia Walker
Nov 11, 2014 Sylvia Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Oliver's beautiful, tender poems come the closest to any I have ever read to the way I feel, when I'm lucky, observing and, most importantly, interacting with the natural world, of which we are all a part. Awesome, spiritual, wonderful works.
Chiuho
Feb 21, 2010 Chiuho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just like her stuff.

Black Snake

I startled a young black snack: he
flew over the grass and hid his face

under a leaf, the rest of him in plain sight,
Little brother, often I've done the same.

Adrienne
Apr 25, 2014 Adrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
One of my first books of poetry and it was delightful. Oliver focuses on animals, large and small, and wraps up moments in time with exquisite precision. Almost as if you were there, as if the moment came from unbidden from your own memory...

I will read more Mary Oliver.
Krystle
May 28, 2016 Krystle rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this! The poems about Percy the dog are just too great, and I can definitely relate, as I have a rambunctious little pup of my own :) All these poems are very beautifully written and quite easy to comprehend, which is nice, since understanding poetry isn't my forte.
Edmund Davis-Quinn
Oct 20, 2015 Edmund Davis-Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, biblio-ct
Read a few a bunch of times. Wonderful poetry to read about animals while at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The amazing series about her dog Percy gives it the fourth star. I love Mary Oliver.
Hannah Jane
Aug 18, 2013 Hannah Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, dogs-adult
- for animal poetry enthusiasts this includes poems about all kinds of creatures such as whales and horses - at the end there are a handful of Percy poems - Also included is the poem, 'The Poet Goes to Indiana,' with a line that says the nostrils of a horse are 'soft as violets'
Sherry (sethurner)
This little book of poems and essays is pure Mary Oliver, keenly observant of nature's wild citizens. I particularly liked an essay about the life of a spider who raised her family under the poet's basement stairs.
Amy
Feb 23, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far ...one of my new favorites!
Kelley
Mar 05, 2009 Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
she can do no wrong.
Anne
Jun 23, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of poems about nature and other adventures.
Lisa
Jan 13, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, poetry
My favorites (besides the old, still marvelous Summer Day) are The Percy Poems.
Emily
Oct 09, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Mary Oliver. All her poems were very sweet and accessible.
Patricia Buchanan
Apparently simple poems. Apparently.
Teresa
Jul 05, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Mary Oliver, so I can't compare to her other work. I just spent the evening reading this to the Spousal Unit as we cooked supper. I'm still sniffling from the joy of it.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

“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 na
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