Thank you to Laura Purdie Salas for hosting this week.
Long Life Essays and Other Writings by Mary Oliver (Amazon | Book Depository)
Published by DaCapo Press (2004)
ISBN: 0306814129 (ISBN13: 9780306814129). Book borrowed from NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
I know it is pretty much of a stretch to consider this as appropriate for our current reading theme. However, I have always felt that reading Mary Oliver provides me with the lenses to perceive the world through different eyes. I always come up from the page, looking around me, filled with wonder. And she does it so intimately – never pontificating – yet she seems to me like a priestess of the world, a preacher for morning glories – exalting the beauty of the universe by just urging us to pay attention to what is around us.
This book contains more essays than poetry. It is a masterclass in reviewing classics, or getting into the essence of a writer’s words, in shared kinship, bringing one’s self into the perceiving and the reading and the experiencing of another’s vision. When I grow up, I want to approximate Mary Oliver, because I doubt anyone can ever be like her.
Here are two of the poems I enjoyed reading from this collection. I hope it inspires you to look at each morning with otherworldly eyes.
As I was reading some of her epigraphs in this collection, there was one that made me gasp aloud. I can not help but edit one of my recent photos while book hunting in the US with Mary Oliver’s words, showing what I am devoted to. Pardon my indulgence.
I have been systematically going over all the books by Mary Oliver available on Overdrive. Sadly, this is the last one. My fervent wish is that she still has some unpublished writings, musings, epigraphs that will be shared with the world in the future.