“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? / While the soul, after all, is only a window, / and the opening of the window no more difficult / than the wakening from a little sleep.” (Quotation from “Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches, pos. 2487)
These more than two-hundred poems are a personal selection of her poems, selected by Mary Oliver herself. She begins with her latest collection, Felicity, 2015, followed by Blue Horses 2014, Dog Songs, 2013, A Thousand Mornings 2012, Swan, 2010, Evidence, 2009, The Truro Bear and Other Adventures, 2008, Red Bird, 2008, Thirst, 2006, New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, 2005, Blue Iris, 2004, Why I wake Early, 2004, Long Life, 2004, Owls and Other Fantasies, 2003, What do we know, 2002, The Leaf and the Cloud, 2000, West Wind, 1997, White Pine, 1994, New and Selected Poems: Volume One, 1992, House of Light, 1990, Dream Work, 1986, American Primitive, 1983, Three Rivers Poetry Journal, 1980, Twelve Moons, 1979, The River Styx, Ohio, 1972, and ends with her first poetry collection No Voyage and Other Poems, 1963 and 1965.
Theme and writing
These poems are moments of observations and thoughts about nature, rivers, even stones, sun, snow, roses; we meet animals like foxes, horses, birds, especially herons, and her beloved dogs in her Dog Songs. Just simple moments, calm afternoons, evenings, sunny mornings in a quiet special surrounding of the beautiful nature and the poet wants to share these special moments, thoughts and feelings with us. Every single poem wants to show us the beauty of our world, to protect it and just enjoy every day of our life and be grateful for it.
“The poem is not the world. / It isn’t the first page of the world. / But the poem wants to flower, like a flower. / It knows that much. (Quotation from “Flare” 8., pos. 2361) These poems by Mary Oliver flower and touch our mind and souls.