Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

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Beacon Press, Oct 13, 2010 - Poetry - 96 pages

Widely regarded as the "rock star" of American poetry, Mary Oliver is a writer whose words have long had the power to move countless readers. Regularly topping the national poetry best-seller list and drawing thousands to her sold-out readings across the coutnry, Oliver is unparalleled in her impact. As noted in the Los Angeles Times, so many "go to her for solace, regeneration and inspiration" that it is not surprising Vice President Joe Biden chose to read one of her poems during the 9/11 remembrance at Ground Zero. Few poets express the complexities of human experience as skillfully as Mary Oliver.

This volume, Oliver's twenty-first book of poetry, contains all new poems on her classic themes. Here, readers will find the deep spiritual sustenance that imbues her writing on nature, love, mortality, and grief. As always, Oliver is an accomplished guide to the rarest and most exquisite insights of the natural world. Ranking "among the finest poets the English language has ever produced," according to the Weekly Standard, Oliver offers us lyrics of great depth and beauty that continue her lifelong work of loving the world.

 

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User Review  - rmckeown - LibraryThing

Mary Oliver has published about twenty books of poetry. Each time I came across one, my admiration for her work grows. The latest in my collection is Swan: Poems and Prose Poems. As is true with most ... Read full review

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User Review  - ChuckS65 - LibraryThing

I was introduced to Mary Oliver nearly a year ago and she quickly became one of my favorite poets. I read Swan as a part of my celebration of National Poetry Month and I was not disappointed. It is a ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

A private person by nature, Mary Oliver (1935–2019) gave very few interviews over the years. Instead, she preferred to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has, for the past five decades, to countless readers. The New York Times recently acknowledged Mary Oliver as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.” Born in a small town in Ohio, Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of 28; No Voyage and Other Poems, originally printed in the UK by Dent Press, was reissued in the United States in 1965 by Houghton Mifflin. Oliver has since published twenty books of poetry and six books of prose. As a young woman, Oliver studied at Ohio State University and Vassar College, but took no degree. She lived for several years at the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay in upper New York state, companion to the poet’s sister Norma Millay. It was there, in the late ’50s, that she met photographer Molly Malone Cook. For more than forty years, Cook and Oliver made their home together, largely in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Cook’s death in 2005. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She has also received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence. Oliver’s essays have appeared in Best American Essays 1996, 1998, 2001; the Anchor Essay Annual 1998, as well as Orion, Onearth and other periodicals. Oliver was editor of Best American Essays 2009. Oliver’s books on the craft of poetry, A Poetry Handbook and Rules for the Dance, are used widely in writing programs. She is an acclaimed reader and has read in practically every state as well as other countries. She has led workshops at various colleges and universities, and held residencies at Case Western Reserve University, Bucknell University, University of Cincinnati, and Sweet Briar College. From 1995, for five years, she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston (1998), Dartmouth College (2007) and Tufts University (2008).

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