Mary Oliver

Dream Work

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An “astonishing” book of poetry from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Primitive and “one of our very best poets” (Stephen Dobyns, The New York Times Book Review).
Dream Work, a collection of forty-five poems, follows Mary Oliver’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry volume American Primitive. The deep perceptual awareness on display in that collection is all the more radiant and steadfast hereWith this new collection, Oliver has turned her attention to the solitary and difficult labors of the spirit–to accepting the truth about one’s personal world, and to valuing the triumphs while transcending the fail­ures of human relationships.
Oliver brings grace and empathy to the painful legacies of history, whether by way of inheritance–as in her poem about the Holocaust–-or through a glimpse into the realities of present–as in her poem about an injured boy begging in the streets of Indonesia. And yet, Oliver’s willingness to find light, humanity, and joy continues, deepened by self-awareness, by experience, and by choice.
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34 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
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  • Оксана Гончароваshared an impression6 years ago
    🔮Hidden Depths

    Graceful and insightful. Love it❤️

  • Fernanda Monsalvo Basalduashared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading

  • Aida Rodriguezshared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading


  • history_grhas quoted15 days ago
    What good does it do
    to lie all day in the sun
    loving what is easy?
    It never grew easy,
    but at last I grew peaceful:
    all summer
    my fear diminished
    as they bloomed through the water
    like flowers, like flecks
    of an uncertain dream,
    while I lay on the rocks, reaching
    into the darkness, learning
    little by little to love
    our only world.
  • history_grhas quoted16 days ago
    The cattle egrets
    flew out into the sunlight
    like so many pieces of white ribbon.
  • history_grhas quoted16 days ago
    Those days I was willing, but frightened.
    What I mean is, I wanted to live my life
    but I didn’t want to do what I had to do
    to go on, which was: to go back.

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