“The gift of Oliver’s poetry is that she communicates the beauty she finds in the world and makes it unforgettable” ( Miami Herald ). This has never been truer than in Long Life , a luminous collection of seventeen essays and ten poems. With the grace and precision that are the hallmarks of her work, Oliver shows us how writing “is a way of offering praise to the world” and suggests we see her poems as “little alleluias.” Whether describing a goosefish stranded at low tide, the feeling of being baptized by the mist from a whale’s blowhole, or the “connection between soul and landscape,” Oliver invites readers to find themselves and their experiences at the center of her world. In Long Life she also speaks of poets and writers: Wordsworth’s “whirlwind” of “beauty and strangeness”; Hawthorne’s “sweet-tempered” side; and Emerson’s belief that “a man’s inclination, once awakened to it, would be to turn all the heavy sails of his life to a moral purpose.” With consummate craftsmanship, Mary Oliver has created a breathtaking volume sure to add to her reputation as “one of our very best poets” (New York Times Book Review ).
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