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A Thousand Mornings

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  11,040 ratings  ·  1,079 reviews
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In A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life’s work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved home, Provincetown, Massachusetts. In these pages, Oliver shares the wonder of dawn, the grace of animals, and the transformative power of attention. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her adored dog, Percy, ...more
Hardcover, 82 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Liam
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I arose early on 10-11-12 to check the status of my Amazon package containing puer ginger tea and 3 poetry books including A Thousand Mornings. The tracking told me it have been delivered. I found the package on the porch.

I proceeded to make the tea and to sit down in my chair to read the entire volume.

Mary thankfully takes us back to all manner of nature and her dog Percy and the black snake and forest birds and the living ocean waves. All the while commenting on being alive and ex
...more
Ammara Abid
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautiful title,
Dreamy cover,
The book is good too but it didn't touch the strings of my heart.

Anyways few lines from the book,

WAS IT NECESSARY TO DO IT?

I tell you that ant is very alive!

Look at how he fusses at being stepped on.




THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER

As long as you’re dancing, you can

break the rules.

Sometimes breaking the rules is just

extending the rules.

Sometimes there are no rules.
Kate
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star-reads
I am so new to poetry.

It used to bother me that the "rules" of poetry were not clear. I didn't like puzzles that did not have answers and I don't have a literary decoder ring. I was never very good at memorizing passages (I can't even repeat a joke back to you in a way that keeps the funny). There were some other feeble excuses - most of which have absolutely nothing to do with poetry - but all that matters is that I kept on not reading poetry.

*Quite a few years back, I happened upo
...more
Caterina
A Thousand Mornings

All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for the redbird to sing.

*******************************************

I Go Down to the Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour/>I
...more
Jessaka
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
For me her best work was presented in her book, America Primitive, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. I have loved her ever since, and have read a few of her other books, reviewing them on here. But this book was a disappointment, perhaps it was just that the subject matter didn't interest me.

Here is a small sample of a ypoem that I liked most in this book:

When I lived under the black
oaks
I felt I was made of leaves.
When I lived by the Little Sister
Po
...more
Thomas
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, poetry
Slim enough for me to read and review within an hour and a half, A Thousand Mornings will appeal to fans of poetry about nature. Mary Oliver intertwines themes of appreciating the present and her faith in God within her incisive observations about the environment. Her poetry conveys a wise and understated joy; though I tuned out while reading a few of her poems, others stood out with clear and artful messages. I will end this brief review with one of my favorite pieces, "I Go Down to the Shore":
...more
Florence Millo
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I grieve for all the years I did not know Mary Oliver's poetry.
Glitterbomb
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, poetry, reviews
This is a very thoughtful collection of poetry reflecting on the natural world. I whiled away a very pleasant and meditative afternoon in my garden with this volume, and it was quite the loveliest experience.
Rebecca
I haven’t had the best luck with Oliver’s later collections. You still get some nice nature imagery, but more often it’ll be slightly twee lines about cats and dogs instead (“Do cats pray, while they sleep / half-asleep in the sun?” from “I Happened to Be Standing” and “when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue / about whether or not God made him” from “For I Will Consider My Dog Percy”). The thoughts about life are not quite as profound as they think they are. Still, she’s very readable, ...more
Liz
Mar 17, 2013 rated it did not like it


Apparently I am an insensitive, picky and mean person when it comes to contemporary poetry. I am somewhat sorry, because I would love to be able to appreciate it or at least to understand why other people love it so much. However, I seem incapable of wrapping my mind around it in the majority of the cases.
This one seemed completely uninspiring to me. Indeed, usually I favour simplicity in literature over complicated and long-winded sentences because I have the opinion that the truth is generall
...more
Yelda Basar Moers
Mary Oliver's collection of poems, A Thousand Mornings, published this fall, is a poignant meditation on nature and the self. It reminded me of the nature writings of Annie Dillard, the essays of Thoreau and Emerson, and the poems of Whitman and the Transcendentalists. Oliver could be an adopted poet of that movement.

The poems are almost naked, sometimes abrupt, but if nature could speak, this is what she could say. Oliver is certainly awed by her surroundings, the sea, animals and t
...more
Mary
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013, poetry
A lovely little collection of poetry centred around the power, peace and beauty of nature. Simple and peaceful observations, often with a little twist at the end, the poet's self-reflection. One of my favourites was "The Mockingbird," and I hope it is okay to quote it here:


The Mockingbird

All summer
the mockingbird
In his pearl-gray coat
and his white-windowed wings

flies
from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing, but it'
...more
Dianne
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful - I deliciously soaked up every word, over and over, on recent flights to and from Utah for hiking. Many many treasures here, but for me the best - and hardest - is 'The Gardener'. Really, I have to answer all the hardest questions of Life at one time? Working on that....

THE GARDENER

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
...more
Mahsa

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?
I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.
Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

قشنگ بود. حتی حس بعضی شعرها فوق العاده بو
...more
Trish
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite collections by Mary Oliver. I discuss this and other works here.
Emma Scott
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t say much more, except that it all happened in silence and peaceful simplicity, and something that felt like the bliss of a certainty and a life lived in accordance with that certainty. I must remember this...

I ordered this because many writers I admire mourned this poet’s recent passing. I read it in the space of what felt like a few minutes. It felt as if Isabel were speaking to me through these poems, especially given that the prevalent theme is of our connectedness to each other and to the
...more
Melody
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, non-fiction
Every Christmas season my book group has a poetry reading. So I, who am not a poetry reader by nature, scramble around to find that perfect, meaningful poem to read aloud. (I DO love to read aloud). Mary Oliver's new book, A Thousand Mornings reminds us to not let a regular old day pass you by without noticing and being grateful for the wonder and the splendor. Today I am grateful that at least once a year I am "pressured" to expand my reading to include poetry.
Laura
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A THOUSAND MORNINGS

All night my heart makes its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing and just waiting, as I too wait (and when have I ever been disappointed?) for redbird to sing.




POEM OF THE ONE WORLD

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
/>POEM
...more
Josh
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For me, reading Mary Oliver is like meeting a rarely seen, but much-loved and admired friend; a conversation and a glimpse into their life feels like a gift, but leaves a surprisingly aching sense of loss. Her writing has consistently been self-reflective observances of and within nature, unexpectedly exposing our own poverty of a life without. In her world, she approaches life with a soft, and open inquisitiveness to the (mostly) silent earthly elders; the aging black oak, the sea (that speaks ...more
Zach
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Easy to read and easy to love, Oliver's poetry is playful and refreshing. While some poems can be impersonal, or so personal they alienate nearly everyone, the poems in A Thousand Mornings are all about patience with and careful observation of the simple and unremarkable, and letting those simple but elusive truths reveal themselves. Oliver's A Thousand Mornings isn't a cerebral tangle of word play and symbolism, but a beautiful, seemingly effortless uncovering of the often overlooked and undera ...more
Emm the Bookmunculus - Half Human, Half Library
"Oh the house of denial has thick walls and very small windows, and whoever lives there, little by little, will turn to stone."

A Thousand Mornings - as sweet, as gentle as the rustle of lavender in a spring's breeze, arm in arm with nature and its delicacy fine as webs.

Reminiscent and nature-inspired poetry can be a hit-or-miss game for me. They can be the opening of an emotional drain, or they can be the brew of sappy cliché in place of any real feeling.
Oliver's work leans toward the f/>A
...more
Adele
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(A brief review I wrote for The Banner magazine)

For almost 50 years, American poet Mary Oliver has been celebrated for her graceful inquisitions into the rhythms of the natural world. Her latest collection, A Thousand Mornings, continues in this same tradition, inviting readers to explore the creatures and shorelines of her beloved home, Provincetown, Mass.

Longtime fans of Oliver’s work will recognize the same patient, lyrical pilgrim who is grateful to be alive, ready to
...more
Cherie
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I read through all of the poems last evening but I think I was a little too tired to really take in and appreciate them. My favorite poem was Green, Green Is My Sister's House. It is about climbing a tree and potentially falling out of it. I especially liked the last lines

"if someday you can't find me you might
look into that tree or--of course
it's possible--under it"


I liked most of the poems in the book, but I need to read them over more than once to reall
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2013, poetry
I love the many facets of Mary Oliver's work. This volume is very much her backyard of birds and water and wind, and her quietness and thoughtfulness puts me into a different place as a reader. There is some of the same aged reflection that I keep seeing in poets I love, but it is more subtle, only in the service of the natural beauty she describes.

Some favorites: Today
On Traveling to Beautiful Places
The Man Who Has Many Answers



Claire McAlpine
I loved this slim collection of poems, many of which reminded me of something, or awakened something in me, it's as if they don't just exist on their own merit, but are pathways of invitation.

Just the title A Thousand Mornings tells me how many many mornings Mary Oliver has passed in taking walks in nature observing creatures large and small, her shortest poem two lines about an ant; of watching the tides, there are at least three poems about the sea, the one mentioned on the back cover of t
...more
Amanda Linsmeier
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, honest, and inquisitive collection of poetry. I love how Mary Oliver entwines nature, animals, philosophy, and emotions.

For I Will Consider My Dog Percy made me cry. Other favorites were Life Story, Tides, and I Go Down to the Shore:

I go down to the shore in the morning.and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall--
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I h
...more
mwpm
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall -
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
- I Go Down to the Shore, pg. 1

* * *

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where ev/>-
...more
Kateri Ewing
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is an event in my life, when a new Mary Oliver book is published. In the past so many years I have celebratd the arrivals of Evidence, Thirst, Swan, and Red Bird. I have purchased at least five copies of her New and Selected Poems becasue I can’t help but give them away when I meet someone who has never heard of her before. And each time I receive a new title it is my constant companion for weeks upon weeks. If you find it strange that a book of poems can be a companion, then you have not met ...more
Judy
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A BIT OF MUSING ABOUT POETRY

I read an entire book of poetry! I have not read poetry since I was in 8th grade and fell in love with Edna St Vincent Millay: "Renascence" and "My Candle Burns At Both Ends" and so many more. I have read a little Millay over the years, especially after reading a biography for Young Adults in 1997, Edna St Vincent Millay, America's Best Loved Poet by Toby Shafter and Nancy Milford's very adult and very wonderful Savage Beauty in 2002.

For the past few ye
...more
WhatIReallyRead
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

...the man who has only questions, to comfort himself, makes music.

This is the first time I've read anything by Mary Oliver. A Thousand Mornings is a small (only 82 pages long) poetry collection.

I have to admit I am surprised. Somehow I expected her style to be closer to classical rhymed poetry. It wasn't. The writing reminded me of other popular contemporary poetry collections, like Whiskey Words & a Shovel II, if executed better. (Much better)

The poems are contemplative, dwelling on na
...more
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3,598 followers
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 natur
...more
I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.”
392 likes
“And now you'll be telling stories
of my coming back
and they won't be false, and they won't be true
but they'll be real”
77 likes
More quotes…