Why I Wake Early: New Poems
, 2004 - Poetry
- 71 pages
Mary Oliver has been writing poetry for nearly five decades, and in that time she has become America's foremost poetic voice on our experience of the physical world. This collection presents forty-seven new poems, all written within the last two years, and each exhibiting the power and grace that have become the hallmarks of Oliver's work.
The volume includes poems on crickets, toads, trout lilies, black snakes, goldenrod, bears, greeting the morning, watching the deer and, finally, lingering in happiness. Each poem is imbued with the extraordinary perceptions of a poet who considers the everyday in our lives and the natural world around us and finds a multitude of reasons to marvel.
On the eve of the publication of her third volume of poems, Twelve Moons, Archibald MacLeish wrote to Mary Oliver: "You have indeed entered the kingdom. You have done something better than create your own world: you have discovered the world we all live in and do not see and cannot feel."
In the twenty-five years since, Mary Oliver has published nine more volumes of poetry, each revealing new aspects of our world, inviting us to pause with her and to see and feel them. In this new volume she demonstrates, perhaps more affectionately than ever before, "what it means to be human and what is worthwhile about life,"* or, more simply, why the poet wakes early. (*Library Journal)