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New and Selected Poems, Volume One

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  10,157 ratings  ·  467 reviews
When New and Selected Poems, Volume One was originally published in 1992, Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award. In the fourteen years since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country. This collection features thirty poems published only in this volume as well as selections from the poet's first eight books.

Mary
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Paperback, 255 pages
Published April 15th 2004 by Beacon Press (first published 1992)
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David Schaafsma
RIP, Mary Oliver, 1/17/19

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.”
Debbie "DJ"
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, own
Fantastic! Oliver's poems always touch my heart, and this collection shares her best...especially "Wild Geese," and "The Journey."
Jennifer
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books, poetry
I'll admit it. I'm often intimidated by poetry. Many times I can't understand or find meaning in poems I've read.

I was familiar with some of Mary Oliver's most well-known poems, such as "The Summer Day", "Wild Geese", and "Why I Wake Early", but wouldn't have read this entire book if it wasn't for a challenge for National Poetry month.

I'm very glad that I took the time to go through this book poem by poem. While there were a few that left me scratching my head, on the whole Oliver's poems are
...more
Marissa
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE Mary Oliver and would recommend her poetry to anyone. One of the reasons I so love her work is that she is totally accessible. She doesn't write those things that are so obtuse that you are afraid to say, "What the hell is that about?" because everyone else is also afraid to say that and so they all act like it's just brilliant and so no one ever just says, "That makes no *&$%!*&! sense at all. It's horrible." And such is the world of art and poetry today.

Anyway, enough of my
...more
Tom Shadyac
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Mary Oliver is a national treasure. She is as close to a living, breathing, Ralph Waldo Emerson as we have today. And while her poetry explores the beauty of nature, Mary never forgets that we are nature, as well. Lessons learned from the grace of a swan, or the patience discerned in the face of a stone, bring us closer to the essential and therefore, bring us closer to ourselves. You can’t go wrong with any of her books. My introduction was a poem entitled, The Journey, and I quickly found ...more
Julie Christine
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie Christine by: Jeanette
Not often,
but now and again there's a moment
when the heart cries aloud:
yes, I am willing to be
that wild darkness,
that long, blue body of light.


Mary Oliver takes my breath away.
Jeanette
May 14, 2012 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanette by: Anne Lamott
Yesterday I gorged on my first feast of Mary Oliver's work, racing through three of her short books all in a day. I've started this one with determination to go a bit more slowly, but as I page through what is here, all I can think is oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! More, more, more, more, more!

June 20
I've finally finished. I took my time with this one, as it covers poetry from many stages of her life, going back to the 1960s. It's hard to assign a rating, but I can recommend it without reservation.
Katie
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
these are poems that teach us how to read (and write) poems. also how to be alive, pay attention, fall in love, find god. it goes in reverse chronological order, so we get to follow the truth as it wiggles all the way back into Oliver's earliest published poems, and waits to expand into every pore of her later work.
a brief list of words she uses in her poems that i want to use in my poems:
blouse
surge
lace
coward
sorrow
soft
valentine
rife
quick
death
unstinting
foolish
blossoms.

i read "in blackwater
...more
Tylor Lovins
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Wittgenstein once said "Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent." As a logico-philosophical imperative, this is also an ethical imperative. Oliver's anthology is beautiful and insightful as she is successful in expressing the inexpressible precisely because she does not try to do it. She simply describes life, and in her descriptions we begin to understand life in its competing contrasts and depths. These, it turns out, are the things we fail to learn from, and to see beauty in its ...more
Gearóid
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just came across Mary Oliver by chance and so glad i did.
Her poetry really bringing you immediately into beauty of nature
and takes you away from the rush of modern life.
Kind of like mindfulness makes you pause and realise what really matters.

Finished this book but of course will continually re-read these great poems.

Mary
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I love Mary Oliver. She is fierce about nature and just when you think you cannot possibly read another poem about another meadow flower she throws one at ya like
"listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?"
Brilliant I say.
And I love her attitude about life, you can either mope around in your life or you can go forth with the ferocity of all that is splendid and real!
J & J
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this collection. Definitely the kind of poetry that resonates with me. I look forward to reading more of Mary Oliver's work.
Margaret
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good poetry collection.

Tended towards the nature poetry a bit much for my taste, but these are the collected poems so these are kind of like the greatest hits.

Samata
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its been a long time since I read her last...yesterday my little sister asked me what "ineffable" means, and as I was explaining its meaning to her somewhere inside someplace a tiny voice kept insisting,just say "its rather like a Mary Oliver poem"...I do not feel like addressing her with a commonplace Miss Oliver...not when I know her like that and she me..Mary strips me of all my desperate strength, all the futile hard earned evolution and adornments I managed to soil myself with on the way, ...more
Jackie
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
queen of my heart and soul
Tomas Ramanauskas
I struggle with poetry on nature. Oliver does not. She finds an inexhaustible pot of inspiration in birds, sun, even mussels. At times she soars, yet most of the times she leaves me calm. And one should never be calm with poetry.

Beautiful lines:
-

Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don’t we?

Slowly

-

do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
...more
Natalie
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a poetry kick lately. I would have told you 3 years ago that I don't get poetry, any poetry. But lately, I can't get enough. There are a few lines in some of these poems that knocked me out. Some of my favorites are The Summer Day, The Journey, Rage, A Visitor & In Blackwater Woods (which the quote below is taken from).


Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of
...more
Monica
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m only sorry that it took her death to get me to return to Oliver’s work.
Hanna
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There is only one question: how to love this world," Mary Oliver writes in "Spring," one of the finest poems in this collection. The selections in this book try to find answers to that question, primarily in the natural world. These are poems about nature and wonder, love and death, egrets and humpback whales. They aren't difficult poems, but straightforward in their precise, well-crafted imagery. There is a beauty in their apparent simplicity, in the observations of a poet clearly in love with ...more
Lauren Adams
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Mary Oliver is the greatest of them all. I bookmarked about 25 poems in this collection that I plan to read frequently (and already have.) She writes mainly about nature, starting with the smallest details described in the most artistic way, panning out its (and our) purpose in this world. I will say, I enjoyed the first half of this collection (poems from the '90s/'80s) significantly more than the second half (poems from the '60s/'70s).

If you've ever wanted to get into poetry but roll your eyes
...more
Doug Wells
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely writer of simple and elegant thoughts. This one ventured more towards nature and natural settings. Part of one, In Blackwater Woods, will forever stick with me:

To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:

to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go, let it go.
Laila (BigReadingLife)
An accessible, beautiful, meaningful collection of poetry that everyone should read. Oliver has a marvelous way of writing about the natural world and situating herself (and us) within it, asking the big questions of existence. This is a collection that I will be reading for the rest of my life.
Julie Ehlers
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Let us risk the wildest places, / Lest we go down in comfort, and despair."
Kris - My Novelesque Life
4.5 stars review to come
Jessica Potter
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This world is warm and soft and full of delight delight delight
Abigail McAlister
this was the first Mary Oliver collection I've read and now I'm obsessed. she has such a talent for tying nature and our feelings towards it to life, death, spirituality, beginning and ending. these poems emptied and filled my heart too many times to count.

"you do not have to be good.
you do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
you only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves."
Maggie
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The other of two books I purchased after my father-in-law's passing.

Contains many of the classic Oliver poems where I find comfort and inspiration, including:

- The Summer Day
...
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

- When Death Comes
...
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I
...more
Kirby
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved getting to know Mary Oliver better through this collection. I've never been particularly affected by nature poetry, but the way that she ruminates on the connections between humans and the natural universe is incredibly moving. I also like the way this volume was organized, with her most recent poems first then going back in reverse chronological order-- her newer work definitely has a more serene air of wisdom, peace, and stability than her earliest work, where you can see her ...more
Arta
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, poetry
This was absolutely fantastic!
I can't choose a favourite, really because I enjoyed every poem. There are so many quotable and beautiful parts.
Most of them are influenced by nature which I personally really liked and thought was very fascinating.
They made me feel happy and sad at the same time. But most importantly, they made me think and reflect.
This was also the first time I've read poetry. I've never been into poetry - or at least I thought I wasn't - but apparently I was wrong. I'm glad I
...more
Mark Robison
My favorite poet by far but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone but hardcore fans. The book spans 30 years and goes backward chronologically from 1992 to 1963. She simply became a better poet after this time frame. It’s all good but just good, and the early stuff shows her trying too hard and cluttering up the poems with poetic flourishes. Which isn’t to say there aren’t some awesome parts: “When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder/ if I have made of my life something particular, and real./ I don’ ...more
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Quibble in Flower...: New and Selected Poems, Volume One 1 3 Oct 12, 2018 07:07AM  
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #27 -- New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver ... Beautiful!!! 1 4 Feb 18, 2015 08:54AM  

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“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
...more
“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
1873 likes
“When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.

--from WHEN DEATH COMES”
254 likes
More quotes…