Blue Horses: Poems

Mary Oliver. Penguin, $24.95 (88p) ISBN 978-1-59420-479-1
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner Oliver (Dog Songs) remains among the bestselling poets in America, and this slim collection will sate her many fans: once again her clear, calm lines find pellucid guidance, wonder and cheer, and useful wisdom in forests and seashores. Though Oliver has long resided in Provincetown, Mass., and described New England natures, she nods this time to points farther south: "in a warm place, surrounded by/ mangroves," those tropical trees tell her "We are what we are, you/ are what you are, love us if you can." Readers who only know Oliver for her most popular work might be surprised, even delighted, at the open eroticism of other new poems; the same readers might seek out the titular painting by Franz Marc, where "the desire to make something beautiful/ is the piece of God that is inside each of us." Oliver's sentences, divided between quiet awe and spiritual instruction, have become less detailed over time: there's less "nature writing" here, and more mysticism, than in some earlier volumes. "There is a fire in the lashes of my eyes," she declares (quoting the German mystic Jacob Bohme); "It doesn't matter where I am, it could be a small room." It matters a great deal to her admirers that she is, once again, there for them. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-14-312781-9
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