Full of Earth-Praise
A Feature Review of
A Thousand Mornings: Poems
Hardback: FSG, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Linda Frances Lein.
As we have come to expect from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, observations of small, pristine moments in the natural world spring up in her newest collection of poems A Thousand Mornings.
A redbird, black snake, fox, fish, a mockingbird, bats, a white heron, and her dog Percy who “listened to poems” are a few of the critters that readers encounter (74). She makes the meeting of the wild critters feel like a routine occurrence as if they are not instinctively afraid of her as they might be of other human intruders in their world.
White flowers, daffodils, black oaks, leaves, pond lilies, pale dunes, high grass, “blue gray green lavender” tides are the terrain that we linger in when reading Oliver’s work (57). Many of these poetic natural images are from her home and community Provincetown, Massachusetts, where townspeople might catch a glimpse of her walking, stopping, looking or listening, and writing in her notebook, a regular ritual of hers.