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What Do We Know

Poems and Prose Poems
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Perseus
 | 
March, 2003
ISBN:
9780306812064
In stock now: 
3
$22.50 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

For the many admirers of Mary Oliver’s  earthy poetry and luminous vision, What Do We Know will be a revelation and, in the words of Stanley Kunitz, “a blessing.” These forty poems—of observing, of searching, of pausing, of astonishment, of giving thanks—embrace in every sense the natural world, its unrepeatable moments and its ceaseless cycles. Mary Oliver evokes unforgettable images—from one hundred white-sided dolphins on a summer day to bees that have memorized every stalk and leaf in a field—even as she reminds us, after Emerson, that “the invisible and imponderable is the sole fact.”

What was most wonderful?

The sea, and its wide shoulders;

the sea and its triangles;

the sea lying back on its long athlete’s spine.

What did you think was happening?

The great breast of the hummingbird;

the eye of the pond;

the wet face of the lily;

the bright, puckered knee of the broken oak;

the red tulip of the fox’s mouth;

the up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow—

 

so the gods shake us from our sleep.

                               —from “Gratitude”

Also by Mary Oliver are New and Selected Poems and The Leaf and the Cloud.

Publisher’s Description: 
"Mary Oliver's poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing," wrote Stanley Kunitz many years ago; and recently, Rita Dove described her last volume, The Leaf and the Cloud, as "a brilliant meditation." For the many admirers of Mary Oliver's dazzling poetry and luminous vision, as well as for those who may be coming to her work for the first time, What Do We Know will be a revelation. These forty poems-of observing, of searching, of pausing, of astonishment, of giving thanks-embrace in every sense the natural world, its unrepeatable moments and its ceaseless cycles. Mary Oliver evokes unforgettable images-from one hundred white-sided dolphins on a summer day to bees that have memorized every stalk and leaf in a field-even as she reminds us, after Emerson, that "the invisible and imponderable is the sole fact."

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