I have just been totally hungry for Mary Oliver’s poetry since last fall. I bought two copies of House of Light and gave them to friends for Christmas – should have bought one for myself. Can’t think why I didn’t! I think it may have been Why I Wake Early.
Son Brian gave me one for Christmas which I devoured, and now cannot find and cannot even remember the name of. I just finished last night her New and Selected Poems, Volume One, which includes poems from every one of her previous books, up to 1992. I made sure to read about 20 poems at a time, to give myself a chance to digest them.
From that book comes my favorite quote of hers (up until now!): 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?
From “The summer day”;
New and Selected Poems 1992
She’s a winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She is yummy and delicious, and turns nature into a feast for the mind and the body. She and I clearly share the belief that the body is a very spiritual entity, and its likes and dislikes are correct and to be trusted.
Here’s another great quote, chosen by flipping the above book open: the last lines of Winter
“- and the sea still streaming in like a mother wild with gifts –
in this world I am as rich
as I need to be.”
Let your right-brained intuitive Self choose which of her many books to gift yourself with.
(And I’d prefer that you go to an actual bookstore, although you can do Amazon if you must. I want bookstores and their great smells and feelings to be around for a long, long time.)