Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is my favourite American poet and today is Independence Day in the USA, so I've chosen to write about Oliver's newest collection, A Thousand Mornings, from my stack of finished books awaiting blog review.

Oliver has won many literature prizes, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. She is a lesbian who doesn't write about sexuality; her concern is the connection humans have with the natural world. She celebrates life and beauty with simple wonder.

A single sentence comprises the entirety of 'Poem of the One World:'

"This morning / the beautiful white heron / was floating along above the water / and then into the sky of this / the one world / we all belong to / where everything / sooner or later  / is a part of everything else / which thought made me feel / for a little while / quite beautiful myself."

I picked up A Thousand Mornings at Village Books in Bellingham WA when I attended Booktopia last month. I mostly read library books, but I buy several books every month. Almost all of my purchases are given away, either after I've read them or because they were intended as gifts from the start. I rarely reread and I don't feel strongly about keeping my own collection. My rooms would all be full to the ceilings if I did! I make exceptions for my very favourites, however, including Mary Oliver's poetry. The calming effect her words have on me never wears out. I can count on them to instill a feeling of joy, peace and gratitude. My soul needs this. A Thousand Mornings will join West Wind and What Do We Know on a shelf close to my bed, where I can pick them up anytime.

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