Dream Work

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
7
Free sample

Dream Work, a collection of forty-five poems, follows both chrono­logically and logically Mary Oliver's American Primitive, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for the finest book of poetry published in 1983 by an American poet.  The depth and diversity of perceptual awareness—so steadfast and radiant in American Primitive—continue in Dream Work. She has turned her attention in these poems to the solitary and difficult labors of the spirit—to accepting the truth about one's personal world, and to valuing the triumphs while transcending the fail­ures of human relationships.

Whether by way of inheritance—as in her poem about the Holocaust—or through a painful glimpse into the present—as in "Acid," a poem about an injured boy begging in the streets of Indonesia—the events and tendencies of history take on a new importance here.  More deeply than in her previous volumes, the sensibility behind these poems has merged with the world. Mary Oliver's willingness to be joyful continues, deepened by self-awareness, by experience, and by choice.
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About the author

Mary Oliver was born in Maple Heights, Ohio on September 10, 1935. She attended Ohio State University and Vassar College, but did not receive a degree. Her first collection of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, was published in 1963. Her other works include White Pine, West Wind, Why I Wake Early, Thirst, Red Bird, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, A Thousand Mornings, and Blue Horses: Poems. She has won numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for American Primitive, the Christopher Award and the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light, and the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems. Her books of prose include A Poetry Handbook, Blue Pastures, Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse, and Long Life: Essays and Other Writings. She held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College from 1995 to 2001.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Nov 4, 2014
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Pages
96
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ISBN
9780802192417
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year! 

The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver.
 
“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” 

So begins Upstream, a collection of essays in which revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature. Emphasizing the significance of her childhood “friend” Walt Whitman, through whose work she first understood that a poem is a temple, “a place to enter, and in which to feel,” and who encouraged her to vanish into the world of her writing, Oliver meditates on the forces that allowed her to create a life for herself out of work and love. As she writes, “I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.” 
 
Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.
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