Red Bird

Red Bird 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 f

  • Title: Red Bird
  • Author: Mary Oliver
  • ISBN: 9780807068922
  • Page: 264
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 ofRed 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.

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    About "Mary Oliver"

    1. Mary Oliver

      Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name See this thread for information In a region that has produced most of the nation s poet laureates, it is risky to single out one fragile 71 year old bard of Provincetown But Mary Oliver, who won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1983, is my choice for her joyous, accessible, intimate observations of the natural world Her Wild Geese has become so popular it now graces posters in dorm rooms across the land But don t hold that against her Read almost anything in New and Selected Poems She teaches us the profound act of paying attention a living wonder that makes it possible to appreciate all the others Ren e Loth, Boston Globe, September 2, 2007

    581 thoughts on “Red Bird”

    1. I read this a month or two ago in preparation for a reading last night -- I didn't quite know what to expect as I am somewhat new to Mary Oliver. Anyway, it was a beautiful night and an incredible reading. She was a bit older than I imagined and a bit more frail, but that is truly beside the point.My original interpretation of the poems in Red Bird, perhaps due entirely to the way I read them, had a slight sensuality to them. Hearing Mary read aloud some of these poems (and from other collection [...]


    2. GO GET THIS BOOK! Yeah,I'm yelling atyou , reading the Sandra Brown! Hey!! Put down the James Patterson and get your hands on this!! It will rock your poetic world. GO! While you are out, pick up a copy for me, so I don't "forget" to give this back to my friend.


    3. sometimes - Mary Oliver 1.Something came upout of the dark.It wasn’t anything I had ever seen before.It wasn’t an animalor a flower,unless it was both.Something came up out of the water,a head the size of a catbut muddy and without ears.I don’t know what God is.I don’t know what death is.But I believe they have between themsome fervent and necessary arrangement.2.Sometimemelancholy leaves me breathless…3.Water from the heavens! Electricity from the source!Both of them mad to create som [...]


    4. d this is why I have been sent,To teach this to your heart.What a beautiful variety of poetry. I am new to Mary Oliver and can't wait to get my hands on more of her writing. She expresses love, appreciation for nature, gratitude, and even disappointment with those who are power hungry in a very flowing prose.


    5. 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 relatio [...]


    6. These poems are intimate astonishments, wonders of tender love for the world closely observed and its interplay with spirit - especially a spirit of song, whether in sorrow or confusion in aging and death of a loved one, or in rejoicing for the beauty and providence of the day. Her poems delight me! I've been searching for good writing that is both serious and uplifting, life-embracing -- and -- among living authors -- I found Mary Oliver. Not This, Not That seems to be Mary Oliver's own, earthl [...]


    7. Deeply moving. The poems made me cry (and I've never really cried over poetry before), or perhaps I just really needed them. I'm so glad I picked up this collection at just the right time: the time for deepening and quieting the spirit; for opening your life and opening your hands; for melancholy leaving you breathless; for apologizing for ever speaking of yourself as lonely; and, everything else that a tender heart could ruminate.


    8. My days have been difficult and dark of late. I don't know anything else but that deep space with no light; it's as if I have lived there always. This morning, I opened this book and found prayers for my life. I am not a deeply religious person but Mary Oliver's words have touched my soul deeply—they always have, anyway—and I thought, damn, there is nothing truer than this, right now: Sometimes / melancholy leaves me breathless. (Sometimes) When she writes in Red Bird, "I know He has many ch [...]


    9. Lovely poems about nature, love, life & death, birds & animals. I enjoyed seeing the world through these poems. If these poems were a philosophy of living, then they make it seem not only doable, but quite enjoyable, even with death looming right outside the door.



    10. Every time I think I love Mary Oliver's poetry, I read another work of hers that only sends that admiration surging higher and deeper. RED BIRD isn't just a poetry collection about the beauty of nature. It's also about hope and gratitude, love and sadness, joy and renewal. It reminds us to take the time to observe our world, to think about our actions and the consequences they might have on place, flora, and fauna. At times it fiercely criticizes humanity for its focus on progress and its destru [...]


    11. I adore Mary Oliver, and I adore this book. While I may like individual poems in some of her other books better than any one poem in this book (as famous as it is, I still love "Wild Geese" with my whole heart, and I always will writersalmanac.publicradio), this is my favorite book of hers. The entire collection reads like a book of prayers, and it is a beautifully centering, human and empathetic book. Here are just a few snippets:From "Summer Morning"Let the world have its way with you, luminou [...]


    12. Mary Oliver is a gifted poet. Her use of imagery and self-reflection is powerful, even for those who aren't religious or inclined to love nature. Death itself is a musicI would notgive my life for a thousand of yours. - "Straight Talk from Fox" I have dreamedof accomplishment. I have fedambition. I have tradednights of sleepfor a length of work.- "The Orchard"Oliver's wonder at the world around her is not confined to rose-colored optimism or faith; she shares her dark feelings willingly, and eff [...]


    13. I do not currently have the tools to write a terribly insightful, objective review of a book of Mary Oliver's poetry as I wish that I did - perhaps I get closer to that with each volume I read? This I will say in an effort to get closer to that small goal: Mary Oliver's poems have a special ability to touch the soul, not only our own, but the soul of life, of every living thing and to illuminate our relationship to each other. In any form I have never encountered someone who understands and effe [...]


    14. This collection represents quintessential Oliver. She is in fine form here, notably in the poems, Invitation (p. 18), and Sometimes (p. 35). I noted twenty-five other exemplary poems, out of a collection of sixty-one. When her words resonate, they sing. When they don't, they fall like flattened leaves.I expected greatness in this collection and found goodness, with the exception of what I can only surmise are "filler" poems. My only regret is that the filler poems exist at all, because, for me, [...]


    15. Summer MorningsHeart,I implore you,it’s time to come backfrom the dark,it’s morning,the hill are pinkand the roseswhatever they feltin the valley of nightare opening nowtheir soft dresses,their leavesare shining.Why are you laggard?Sure you have seen thisa thousand times,which isn’t half enough.Let the worldhave its way with you,luminous as it iswith mysteryand pain-graced as it iswith the ordinary.


    16. I went to a reading of Mary Oliver's poems. She is wonderful of course. I didn't realize how funny she isThe book is lovely and great to keep on the night table for the occasional meditation.I have several of her books. She read 'Wild Geese' (I think that's the title) I highly recommend reading this poem. It's an older poem and just beautiful. You can get it online


    17. Mary Oliver makes me begrudgingly realize that I should be grateful for everything around me, even on sad gray days. This book speaks to the part of me that is discovering how honesty is a form of prayer. "I will try" was the one that meant most to me.


    18. Mary Oliver takes a very simple subjects and turns them into a works of art. I will be reading more of Oliver's poetry books. 5 Stars!


    19. We think this may be our all-time favorite Mary Oliver book (and then maybe we feel that way after each and everyone one we finish.)


    20. Let the world have its way with you, luminous as it iswith mystery and pain— graced as it is with the ordinary.



    21. This falls between Evidence and Thirst for me, with a more sober tone, less spiritual, less earth ecstatic. Oliver brings some politics in, and it more pessimistic than I expected. In the poem, Empire: not a shred of positivity to be found, and it saddens me; if she, at the end of her life, the singer of the music of the body that responds to nature’s energy, the celebrator of nature’s wonders, can’t muster up a more utopian view of how we will be perceived in the fullness of time, who wou [...]


    22. What can I say more than the poet’s saidAlready in the deeps of the poemWhere, midstride, she questions the whole project.Or does she? What an elite life! Is it?This word, this baggage piled upon a word.Five letters; but two syllables. Is itExclusive, a one-percenter of a word,Amid the multi-verses of language?To write, perchance to rhyme, in the morning.A cup of tea, steaming; out the windowBirds, trees, life abundant from which to draw,As it were, the bus. Public transportation.Is the poet e [...]


    23. Mary Oliver is what I would call a nature poet. Reading her poetry, for me, felt like I was reading her thoughts while she was taking me on an "evening walk in the Pinewoods". Each poem flows beautifully into the next. I listed some of my favorite poems from this collection below.::Black Swallowtail::Of Goodness::In the Evening, in the Pinewoods::Love Sorrow::I don't want to live a small life::What is the greatest gift?


    24. Mary Oliver's poetry is a lot like a glacial lake - incredibly beautiful, and delightful in how it seems so simple: you can see all the way to the bottom! Look at the ripples of light on the bottom! And then you leave the edges of the lake and get out into the middle and the bottom disappears, but instead you get the deepest most vibrant teals and blues as the light streams down and down and down.


    25. I'm used to reading Mary Oliver in her two big editions of selected and new poems, or in individual poems. It was really lovely to read this small collection and notice the thematic connections among the poems. In this collection, many of the poems are interested in the observer's conflict in watching beautiful animals kill and eat other beautiful animals. Plus, there's a delightful series of poems about her dog Percy.



    26. I found this book of poetry delightful. This was my first real plunge into poetry. I am thankful that I started with her. I will be adding more to my collection!



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