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Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,677 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career.
Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all
Hardcover, 456 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 4.62  · 
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 ·  2,677 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, own, favorites
Reading Mary Oliver is like meeting with an old friend and settling into quiet, gentle conversation, the kind that just makes you feel good and puts a smile on your face. I’ve read most of the poems in this collection before, some of them favorites that I’ve read many times, but there were a few that were new to me and some old ones that spoke in a new way.

The Loon

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books
Sep 8, 2019

From New and Selected Poems: Volume Two (2005) by Mary Oliver

It has been six months since I last read Mary Oliver’s poems. This past week as the weight of work bore down on me, I sought refuge in her verse, and read a couple each evening.

In an extraction of eleven poems from her collection of new poems from 2005, Oliver bade us pay attention to the natural world in every season. As she contemplated her role as a poet, she took inspiration from the ease with which nature eloquently
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mary is one of my constant companions. This book is one I will be reading today, tomorrow, the next day, the next year, and the next, because I will read it for the rest of my life. Thank you, Mary for giving my love of life and nature voice.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful collection of poetry from Mary Oliver. I finished it with a tear in my eye knowing there won't be anything more from her. She just passed away this year. There is something about her poetry that is comforting to me. I'm sorry she is gone.

It was very hard to pick a favorite poem from this book because there are so many I loved.
This one is still one of my favorites.

What Gorgeous Thing

I do not know what gorgeous thing
the bluebird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
I pre-ordered Devotions without looking at the description, because Mary Oliver! I didn't realize it's a collection of previously published work. I own all of her ebooks, so much of the content isn't new to me. It is very nice to have selected poems from books not available as ebooks and those that are out of print: What Do We Know, The Leaf And The Cloud, White Pine, American Primitive, Twelve Moons, The River Styx, Ohio, and No Voyage.

For those with a Mary Oliver collection, here's what's
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
With Mary Oliver's recent passing, I wanted to read her selected poems in order to see why she was so popular and also to find enjoyment in them as well. My first advice for this book and other selected or collected poems of poets is to read them starting with the early books and moving forward from there. You will see how the poet develops.

I cannot give these poems any accolades for their craft or uniqueness. They reminded me of the old Swanson TV dinners in foil trays: uniformly prepared and
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love, nature, poetry
I am aware of the criticisms of Mary Oliver’s work. She wrote about perhaps uncool things like God and the natural world and has been called “earnest” amongst other patronizing things. I believe that the critics are missing the core of her work which comes from an embodied sense of the ecstatic connection to all things. That we are not indeed truly separate but appear so in manifest form. This is not a cerebral concept, it is a felt sense in the body and Oliver’s poetry is drenched in this but ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mary Oliver Speaks to Me

Her solo is a spare song,
Sung in that way of pure unaccompanied human voice
That is raw honesty.

I love how the first note of each poem
Pierces the white page,
And humbles me with Love
Of this world
That only moments before
I had forgotten.

Backwards through a life of figuring out
With words....

Sing on beautiful bird!
And thank you
For letting me live in your world for a few hours,
All I need
And my reading glasses.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Uff da. I should just own all of Oliver's smaller books... this is heavy as being so many pages and so encompassing. But thanks to a generous library I'm simply renewing it over & over and I will finish soon!

It's very interesting in that it works backwards in time. The first poems are the very most accessible, as she's honed her craft and focused on her theme. Even those readers who are just barely ready for more than Shel Silverstein can enjoy these. Later in the book, as we approach her at
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply Brilliant - no wasted words or time spent within the imagery that jumps off the page.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent-reads
I did it! I completed the collection. The poems are listed in reverse order with the most recent poems first and the earliest poems last. This is an interesting way to take in the work of Mary Oliver. The poems are all related to nature in some manner, but I feel the earlier poems are more abstract.

I’m so glad I bought myself this book. I have so many lines underlined. I loved it.
Harry Allagree
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This lovely book of poems spans 52 years, from 1963-2015. I have a number of "favorite" poets, among them T. S. Eliot, George Herbert, Emily Dickinson. But as I've come to read more of her work over the past 15 years, Mary Oliver has indeed captured my heart. As I read this book, it occurred to me that though her fundamental stance on life & the world has remained essentially the same, her way of expressing that reality has matured, grown in simplicity but also in perception & depth of ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel totally connected with Mary Olivers images;
nature, trees, insects, spirituality, joy.
Just wonderful and enlightening.
David J
Review to come.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A wonderful collection - absolutely beautiful from start to finish.
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tender
this held a lot of poems i am familiar with as it is a selection from previous publications, but reading them again with the eyes of someone who has now been sitting with mary oliver a few hours a week was an enitrely new experience. felt something in me swell and grow as i read "the dream of my life/is to lie down by a slow river/and stare at the light in the trees/to learn something from being nothing"
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mary Oliver's poems are always gorgeous -- her nature imagery and ability to call out the small, exquisite moments from the wilderness is perfect. I wish, though, that the collection had been put in chronological order instead of reverse chronological -- I would have rather enjoyed seeing how her work evolved as I dipped in and out of the collection.
J & J
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Mary Oliver
♠ TABI ♠
Oct 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
a very nice elderly man just told me "you need to read Mary Oliver, even if you don't read poetry; her books are for everyone" and since I am never one to turn aside a well-meant book rec, I shall try this one day
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: immanuel-b-c
4.5 stars rounded up.

I’ve never had much use for poetry. Every few years I’ll dutifully pick up some lofty tomb & give it a whirl out of some vestigial sense of literal arts obligation. I never get much out of it and usually grow to outright resent it part way through. That Mary Oliver, though, amIright?! Sheer bliss through simplicity, no dark meanings tucked away in damnable grecian urns. Finally, a poet whose sense, sensibilities, and subject matter clicks with my brain.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, poetry
This book was abundantly full of poetry from over the years of Mary Oliver's writing. Her thoughts are clear and natural although with some I struggled clearly understanding what was being said. Poetry is something I do not have much background in and I feel Mary Oliver's poems are the perfect place to begin.
Cheryl Crotty
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read half...highlighted many, and will continue on. It now moves from the nightstand to the living room. Mary Oliver places all her best in this big volumn. She continues to inspire and delight. A keeper for sure.
Esra Tasdelen
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection, will stay on my bedside table all year. She is the best.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
So beautiful. Reading a bit every morning was the perfect way to start my day!
Macayla Fryc
Hired a new coworker.
Coworker and I go out to lunch.
We start talking about books.
Share the same love and taste it seems.
She recommends her favorite book.
It's this one.
It's poetry.
I hate poetry.
Except for Shel Silverstein.
Always Shel Silverstein.
She loans me the book.
I'm a good sport.
It takes a few weeks, but I decide to pick it up.
I was sucked in.
Didn't expect that.
Out came the notepads and pen.
Anything I could write on.
Finished the book.
Didn't want it to end.
Collected the
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
what else is there but to close yet another book of mary oliver's poetry, lie down in bed, and stare at the ceiling
joel melton
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
she was way overdue so we had to part before i was through.
but i love the 2/3 we spent together.
she has a superpower of magnifying the minute.
and daring you to do the same.
Shonna Siegers
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A kindred spirit and speaker of the heart! Mary gives voice to the things I feel but do not have the words to express! She finds wisdom, prayer and community in the wild spaces.
Q Adams
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
If this collection doesn’t make you want a green burial by the time you’re done reading it, I don’t know what to tell you.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry deeply connected to the natural world.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add original date published 3 12 Oct 25, 2017 11:20PM  

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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
“If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.” 9 likes
“Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers.” 8 likes
More quotes…