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Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems by Mary Oliver

By Mary Oliver

"What sturdy corporation Mary Oliver is!" the la instances has remarked. and not extra so than during this awesome and interesting collecting of 9 essays, observed by means of a quick choice of new prose poems and poems. (One of the essays has been selected as one of the best of the 12 months via the easiest American Essays 1998, one other through The Anchor Essay Annual.) With the grace and precision that experience gained her legions of admirers, Oliver talks right here of turtle eggs and housebuilding, of her shock on the surprising robust flight of swans, of the "thousand unbreakable hyperlinks among every one folks and every thing else." She talks of her personal poems and of a few of her favourite poets: Poe, writing of "our unescapable destiny," Frost and his skill to express right away that "everything is okay, and every little thing isn't all right," the "unmistakably joyful" Hopkins, and Whitman, looking via his poetry "the replication of a miracle." And Oliver bargains us a glimpse in addition of her "private and common self — whatever that needs to sooner or later be considered by way of any who might declare to grasp me."

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Additional resources for Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems

Example text

Summer of moist nights full of girls and boys ripened, holy drunkenness and violation of the comic boundaries, defiances that never failed or brought disaster. Days on the backs and in the breath of horses, between rivers and pools that reflected the cicadas’ whine, enervation and strength creeping in smooth waves over muscular water. All those things accepted, once, with unnoticing hunger, as an infant accepts the nipple, never come back to mind against the will. What comes unsummoned now, blotting out every other thought and image, is a part of the past not so deep or far away: the time of poverty, of struggle to find means not hateful — the muddy seedtime of early manhood.

There’s nothing to remember and no one to remember it except all of you unknown equally in my voice or anywhere. PLACE A place belongs to the one who has most deeply loved it, they said, has hoped in it beyond its self-corruption. The land, people, the city is his if his nights are for recalling it, calling it in tears of aloneness and amazed thanksgiving: that luck let him kiss it in his childhood, that it grew into him, is him, that he still wants to have it, save it, he wonders what it knows tonight, right now, how it is with that place, if it’s happy, dying, dead.

And for the moment no one harries him or pecks him up, he doesn’t despise his own invention, doesn’t worry the song of longing he repeats is ignorant, failing to know and bring all things the wise and passionate will ever say of love to his lady. Listen and you seem to be in his peace under the leaves of an impatiens flower. There’s dew all over your body and a slight stir fans it to further cold but you don’t shiver. Who knows ? August is over, for the moment no one harries or eats us, we sing stupidly free of doubt.

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