Introductory Guide to the Poems of
With Sample Poems
Compiled by Madeline Cramer
Oliver’s experiences of losing her partner of 40 years to cancer in 2005 and then later being diagnosed with it herself deeply impacted her poetry thematically—leading up to her current work in which she blends themes of grief and mourning with faith, hope, and belonging. As she says, there is no “nothingness” (not even in death), and, “Grief is an extension of love.” Check out her poem “When Death Comes” available in her book New and Selected Poems, Volume 1(winner of the National Book Award in 1992)—perfect for a beginner to her work.
You can listen to Mary Oliver read this poem out loud here
through the radio show “To the Best of Our Knowledge.”
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IMAGE CREDIT: Molly Malone Cook, from the cover of New and Selected Poems, Volume One
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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