Red Bird

Red Bird


Book - 2008
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Red bird came all winter / firing up the landscape / as nothing else could. So begins Mary Oliver's twelfth book of poetry, and the image of that fiery bird stays with the reader, appearing in unexpected forms and guises until, in a postscript, he explains himself: "For truly the body needs / a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work, / the soul has need of a body, / and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable / beauty of heaven / where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes, / and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart."

This collection of sixty-one new poems, the most ever in a single volume of Oliver's work, includes an entirely new direction in the poet's work: a cycle of eleven linked love poems-a dazzling achievement. As in all of Mary Oliver's work, the pages overflow with her keen observation of the natural world and her gratitude for its gifts, for the many people she has loved in her seventy years, as well as for her disobedient dog, Percy. But here, too, the poet's attention turns with ferocity to the degradation of the Earth and the denigration of the peoples of the world by those who love power. Red Bird is unquestionably Mary Oliver's most wide-ranging volume to date.

Baker & Taylor
A collection of poems celebrates the many forms that love can take and bemoans the fate of the natural world.

Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [2008]
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780807068922
Branch Call Number: 811 O48r
Characteristics: 78 pages ; 23 cm


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RogerDeBlanck Jul 24, 2018

While rereading the lovely poems in Red Bird, I’m reminded once again why Mary Oliver is certainly one of the greatest American poets since Robert Frost. She is an inspiring and visionary poet who quests after the essential matters of the heart and soul. She is a sage in her understanding of sorrow and joy and of investigating what it means to be human. She is the quintessential poet in search of capturing the beauty and meaning of life, or more aptly how to understand her mortality in relation to the world around her. In dealing with life through all its triumphs and failures, Oliver writes verse that leaps off the page. Her voice is full of immediacy, euphoria, gratitude, compassion, and love. She expresses her reverence for life as something astonishing, as something to cherish, and as something that can only be comprehended through the profundity of grief and love.


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