As we continue our romance-filled January-February, I am excited to share the very first book I finished this year. Thank you to Kimberley Moran for hosting this week.
Written by: Mary Oliver
Published by: Penguin Press, 2015
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
There are 38 poems in all in this precious collection, divided into three themes: (1) The Journey, (2) Love, and one poem in (3) Felicity. If you are looking for a book that will provide a quiet balm – singing of hope and brimming with steadfast faith that isn’t self-righteous or quietly indignant, then this is the book for you.
I think what I like best about Mary Oliver’s poetry is how every verse includes the reader, invites them in to marvel at everything that she sees. It never makes the reader feel inadequate for not seeing the wonder that she sees. There is shared joy here, made more luminous with the knowledge that it isn’t always pretty, that it is a hard-won beauty – one that comes after brokenness, ugly truths, perhaps even heartbreak or a sense of loss.
My favourite title from this collection signifies all that and brought unbidden tears to my eyes, and my Poetry Friday offering to you all this Valentine season – because fragments of pain can create a multi-coloured mosaic of mirth, a quiet felicity that permeates, and spreads out into the world, tendrils of joy amidst “everything that was broken.” Sometimes love can be held and cherished despite of, and not always because of.
I took a photo of the page and edited the image using an iPhone app.