Cover image for Blue horses : poems
Blue horses : poems
Oliver, Mary, 1935-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
Publication Information:
New York, New York : The Penguin Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
79 pages ; 21 cm
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Primitive presents a new collection of poems that reflects her signature imagery-based language and her observations of the unaffected beauty of nature. --Publisher's description.
After reading Lucretius, I go to the pond -- What I can do -- Rumi -- First yoga lesson -- I don't want to be demure or respectable -- Stebbin's gulch -- No matter what -- Angels -- What we want -- If I wanted a boat -- Good morning -- wasp -- Blueberries -- Little lord love -- Little crazy love song -- I woke -- mangroves -- hummingbirds -- Such silence -- Watering the stones -- Franz Marc's blue horses -- vulture's wings -- On meditating, sort of -- To be human is to sing your own song -- Loneliness -- Drifting -- Forgive me -- I'm feeling fabulous, possibly too much so but I love it -- On not mowing the lawn -- fourth sign of the Zodiac -- To Shiva -- Owl poem -- little ado about this and that -- Do stones feel? -- I'm not the river -- oak tree loves patience -- country of the trees -- What gorgeous thing.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3565.L5 B56 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3565.L5 B56 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS3565.L5 B56 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life's work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature.   Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird's nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments.   At its heart, Blue Horses asks what it means to truly belong to this world, to live in it attuned to all its changes. Humorous, gentle, and always honest, Oliver is a visionary of the natural world.  

Author Notes

Mary Oliver was born in Maple Heights, Ohio on September 10, 1935. She attended Ohio State University and Vassar College, but did not receive a degree. Her first collection of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, was published in 1963. Her other works include White Pine, West Wind, Why I Wake Early, Thirst, Red Bird, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, A Thousand Mornings, and Blue Horses: Poems. She has won numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for American Primitive, the Christopher Award and the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light, and the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems.

Her books of prose include A Poetry Handbook, Blue Pastures, Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse, and Long Life: Essays and Other Writings. She held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College from 1995 to 2001.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner Oliver (Dog Songs) remains among the bestselling poets in America, and this slim collection will sate her many fans: once again her clear, calm lines find pellucid guidance, wonder and cheer, and useful wisdom in forests and seashores. Though Oliver has long resided in Provincetown, Mass., and described New England natures, she nods this time to points farther south: "in a warm place, surrounded by/ mangroves," those tropical trees tell her "We are what we are, you/ are what you are, love us if you can." Readers who only know Oliver for her most popular work might be surprised, even delighted, at the open eroticism of other new poems; the same readers might seek out the titular painting by Franz Marc, where "the desire to make something beautiful/ is the piece of God that is inside each of us." Oliver's sentences, divided between quiet awe and spiritual instruction, have become less detailed over time: there's less "nature writing" here, and more mysticism, than in some earlier volumes. "There is a fire in the lashes of my eyes," she declares (quoting the German mystic Jacob Bohme); "It doesn't matter where I am, it could be a small room." It matters a great deal to her admirers that she is, once again, there for them. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

The multiaward-winning Oliver (Dog Songs) gives readers another opportunity to slow down and connect, to see what she sees, and perhaps to find consolation there. In this slim volume, Oliver shares the page with Rumi, Stebbins, Lucretius and even Shiva. Oliver asks, "What Can I Do" in the face of technology. She answers "not much" but adds, "I can strike a match and make fire." Indeed she does! In a voice so distinctly hers, Oliver reflects on aging and the nature of art, poetry, and love the conundrum of culture. In "Franz Marc's Blue Horses," she suggests, "Maybe our world will grow kinder ./ Maybe the desire to make something beautiful/ is the piece of God that is inside each of us." As with those blue horses, which might have their secrets, it's enough that Oliver's poems are speaking and might have secrets, too, but it's up to us to listen. Perhaps the popularity of Oliver's poems lies in their pastoral quiet, the exactness of her observations, and the comfort of the poet's use of simple language. As she reminds readers, "I don't care how many angels can/ dance on the head of a pin. It's/ enough to know they exist, and that they dance." VERDICT Highly recommended for all poetry collections. Karla Huston, Appleton, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



AFTER READING LUCRETIUS, I GO TO THE POND The slippery green frog that went to his death Excerpted from Blue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.