Geoffrey Gioja's Reviews > New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
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's review
Jun 26, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: mary-oliver, poetry
Recommended to Geoffrey by: David Whyte
Recommended for: Anyone who loves poetry and who can connect with the pre-postmodern sensibilities
read count: Several

This was my first book of poetry by Mary Oliver - who has grown to be among my most very favorite poets. Some classics in this collection (most of which are from previously published collections going back to American Primitive) - and each of these has stood up to the test of multiple readings over decades of reading poetry - are:
• When Death Comes
• Rice
• Hummingbird Pauses at Trumpet Vine
• The Buddha's Last Instruction
• The Swan
• The Summer Day
• Maybe (perhaps my most favorite poem about Jesus)
• White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field
• Rage
• Wild Geese (I first heard this poem recited aloud from memory by David Whyte)
• The Journey

Yes, she is the best-selling American poet of all time. This is one of those rare cases where the sum of the extraordinary popularity of the poet plus the widespread general accessibility of the work during her lifetime does not equal celebrity without substance, nor does it indicate reach without depth. She is a most remarkable woman, writer of prose, and poet.
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