Read House of Light by Mary Oliver Online


Winner of a 1991 Christopher AwardWinner of the 1991 Boston Globe Lawrence L. Winship Book AwardThis collection of poems by Mary Oliver once again invites the reader to step across the threshold of ordinary life into a world of natural and spiritual luminosity....

Title : House of Light
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780807068113
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

House of Light Reviews

  • s.p
    2019-02-13 15:34

    ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?’Despite owning Oliver’s two volume New and Selected Poems, I couldn’t resist snatching up this tiny collection when I stumbled upon it at a library book sale in the fifty cents bin. Although it was her American Primitive that achieved her Pulitzer recognition, House of Light remains my favorite collection of Oliver’s picturesque poetry. After spending a few days in poetic rapture through each word and staggered stanzas, I realized the former owner had discretely placed a small dot next to three different poems in the table of contents. To my joy, these three poems—assumingly singled out for being the ones closest to the former owner’s heart—coincided with my personal favorites as well. In a collection about the unity of all life as it breaches the limits of life and into death, it seemed all the more poignant to find two people across space and time sharing Oliver’s words and, as if in subtle conversation, agreeding upon the words that moved us the most. House of Light, Oliver’s metaphor of the afterlife, glides like a swan into the pond of your heart, sending out little ripples of joy and comfort as she looks towards death without fear but with acceptance and wonderment.Some Questions You Might AskIs the soul solid, like iron?Or is it tender and breakable, likethe wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?Who has it, and who doesn’t?I keep looking around me.The face of the moose is as sadas the face of Jesus.The swan opens her white wings slowly.In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.One question leads to another.Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?Like the eye of a hummingbird?Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?Why should I have it, and not the anteaterwho loves her children?Why should I have it, and not the camel?Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?What about the blue iris?What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?What about the grass?The soul is a theme that floats through this collection as Oliver grapples with the possibility of its existence and the question of what becomes of us when we die. Oliver asks ‘why should I hate it, and not the anteater who loves her children’, and rejects the notion that humans are above any other living thing on earth. She envies the quiet life of flowers in the breeze in Lilies, she spends a day contemplating a mother bear moving down a mountain with ‘her wordlessness, her perfect lovein Spring, and seems to find her inner peace when deep in the wilderness. Out doors, in the company of nature and not people, is when the quiet answers to the universe seem to whisper themselves in her heart. Oliver seems herself a Buddhist as she declares a soul, a light inside all living things, none less beautiful than the rest.I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—that the light is everything—that it is more than the sumof each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.Taken from the conclusion to The Ponds, this reflects Oliver’s belief in the perfect universal soul, that the light of existence burns away the impurities. Her words are immensely uplifting and empowering as she urges us to maintain a quiet serenity in our hearts. Her words are always so clear, simple and still, like a cool body of water on a sunny day where the rocks on the bottom many feet down can be seen from the surface. Reading her words are like a walk in the forest, refreshing and humbling as they remind you of the things that really matter in life.The Buddha’s Last Instruction“Make of yourself a light,”said the Buddha,before he died.I think of this every morningas the east beginsto tear off its many cloudsof darkness, to send up the firstsignal – a white fanstreaked with pink and violet,even green.An old man, he lay downbetween two sala trees,and he might have said anything,knowing it was his final hour.The light burns upward,it thickens and settles over the fields.Around him, the villagers gatheredand stretched forward to listen.Even before the sun itselfhangs, disattached, in the blue air,I am touched everywhereby its ocean of yellow waves.No doubt he thought of everythingthat had happened in his difficult life.And then I feel the sun itselfas it blazes over the hills,like a million flowers on fire –clearly I’m not needed,yet I feel myself turninginto something of inexplicable value.Slowly, beneath the branches,he raised his head.He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.This light, this purity, speaks to us in every poem. Oliver reminds us to be good to one another, to respect the world around us, and to humble oneself in its immense beauty and mysteries. We are each insignificant, just a speck in all this vastness, yet we are also ‘of inexplicable value’ at the same time. We must accept love and give love, we must try to be a light, because a light can spread and cover the world, comforting and improving the lives of all those it touches.SingaporeIn Singapore, in the airport,A darkness was ripped from my eyes.In the women’s restroom, one compartment stood open.A woman knelt there, washing somethingin the white bowl.Disgust argued in my stomachand I felt, in my pocket, for my ticket.A poem should always have birds in it.Kingfishers, say, with their bold eyes and gaudy wings.Rivers are pleasant, and of course trees.A waterfall, or if that’s not possible, a fountainrising and falling.A person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.When the woman turned I could not answer her face.Her beauty and her embarrassment struggled together, andneither could win.She smiled and I smiled. What kind of nonsense is this?Everybody needs a job.Yes, a person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.But first we must watch her as she stares down at her labor,which is dull enough.She is washing the tops of the airport ashtrays, as big ashubcaps, with a blue rag.Her small hands turn the metal, scrubbing and rinsing.She does not work slowly, nor quickly, like a river.Her dark hair is like the wing of a bird.I don’t doubt for a moment that she loves her life.And I want to rise up from the crust and the slopand fly down to the river.This probably won’t happen.But maybe it will.If the world were only pain and logic, who would want it?Of course, it isn’t.Neither do I mean anything miraculous, but onlythe light that can shine out of a life. I meanthe way she unfolded and refolded the blue cloth,The way her smile was only for my sake; I meanthe way this poem is filled with trees, and birds.This is such a moving poem (one of the three singled out with a dot in the Table of Contents) and is unique in this collection, being an incredible humanizing poem as it turns a eye of pity on our species instead of an eye of wonder towards nature. It is a perfect example of Oliver remembering the Buddha’s words, to not look down on others with disgust and remember that a ‘light can shine out of a life’ and that we all value our own existence, regardless of where in the social standings it falls. We watch Oliver chastise herself for her initial disgust, her initial pretentions against the lower classes of society, and learn to love the smiling face.Death is a constant companion lurking behind each rock and tree in Oliver’s poems. Yet she never applies a foreboding tone, but instead looks at it as the natural course. A flower never fears its demise, so why should we. Her impressions of death reshape as the collection progresses, often asking if there is a life on the other side, often viewing it as a void or then a darkness, yet finally, in White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field, Oliver reveals to be pure brilliant beauty. To merely give the final few lines that I wish to highlight, instead of the entire poem, would be an insult.Coming down out of the freezing skywith its depths of light,like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,it was beautiful, and accurate,striking the snow and whatever was therewith a force that left the imprint of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —and the grabbing thrust of its feet,and the indentation of what had been runningthrough the white valleys of the snow —and then it rose, gracefully,and flew back to the frozen marshesto lurk there, like a little lighthouse,in the blue shadows —so I thought: maybe death isn't darkness, after all,but so much light wrapping itself around us —as soft as feathers —that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,and shut our eyes, not without amazement,and let ourselves be carried,as through the translucence of mica,to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —in which we are washed and washedout of our bones.What a phenomenal depiction of death, as a white owl that silently snatches us from life. Death is not to be feared, it is a comforting light, warm like a heavy blanket, in which we are ‘washed out of our bones.’ How can one fear the end when viewing it like this?This collection is breathtakingly beautiful, and probably my favorite of all Oliver’s works (although Dream Work has a few favorite poems). Death and the soul are discussed with such delicate, simple phrases of supreme potency that will wash the readers heart and soul in order to make it glow with the light of the Buddha. Mary Oliver is a national treasure.5/5Five A.M. in the PinewoodsI'd seentheir hoofprints in the deepneedles and knewthey ended the long nightunder the pines, walkinglike two muteand beautiful women towardthe deeper woods, so Igot up in the dark andwent there. They cameslowly down the hilland looked at me sitting underthe blue trees, shylythey steppedcloser and staredfrom under their thick lashes and evennibbled some damptassels of weeds. Thisis not a poem about a dream,though it could be.This is a poem about the worldthat is ours, or could be.Finallyone of them — I swear it! —would have come to my arms.But the otherstamped sharp hoof in thepine needles likethe tap of sanity,and they went off together throughthe trees. When I wokeI was alone,I was thinking:so this is how you swim inward,so this is how you flow outward,so this is how you pray.

  • Katie
    2019-01-26 15:37

    I am not a very ironic person. I've learned that over the past couple of years: of course I like some irony and some sarcasm now and again, and it will nearly always make me laugh, but what I really love is earnestness. Maybe I should be reading more poetry. Mary Oliver's collection of poetry is about nature and light and loveliness, and there is a pervasive sense of open-heartedness and earnestness throughout that I found to be really moving. The majority of poems in this collection are just her sitting by a pond and observing what she sees, but she seems absolutely stunned by the wonder of it all, and the way she captures that wonder in language makes it infectious. I think her best poems, though, are the ones where people intrude into or collide with nature, with results that range from messy to tragic to transcendent. "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" invokes Gustav Mahler to describe the sense of connection that creativity and nature can forge between people who have never met. The author wanders outside on Gustav Mahler's birthday, andFor hours I wanderedover the fieldsand the only thign that kept me companywas a song, it glided alongwith my delicious dark happiness, my heavy, bristling and aching delightat the worldwhich has been like thisforever and forever - the leaves, the birds, the ponds, the loneliness, and sometimes, from a lifetime agoand another countrysuch a willing and lilting companion - a songmade so obviously for me.At what unknowable cost.And by a stranger. But there are also poems about how nature can break people, for all of its beauty, either by its lack or by its overabundance. There is a poem about a starving boy, and - probably my favorite in the collection - there is a poem about van Gogh called "Everything" which is absolutely lovely: No doubt in Holland, when van Gogh was a boy, there were swans drifting over the green seaof the meadows, and no doubton some warm afternoon he lay down and watched them, and almost thought: this is everything.What drove himto get up and look furtheris what saves this world, even as it breaksthe hearts of men.In the mines where he preached, where he studied tenderness, there were only men, all of themstreaked with dust.For years he would reach out toward the darkness.But no doubt, like all of us, he finally rememberedeverything, including the white birds, weightless and unaccountable, floating around the towns of grit and hopelessness - and this is what would finish him: not the gloom, which was only terrible, but those last yellow fields, where clearlynothing in the world mattered, or ever wouldbut the insensible light.It's such a lovely collection of hope and joy, but just enough tinged with darkness and sadness to make it feel real and weighty and tangible. Recommend some poetry to me!

  • Jessica
    2019-01-26 11:33

    LiliesI have been thinkingabout livinglike the liliesthat blow in the fields.They rise and fall in the wedge of the wind,and have no shelterfrom the tongues of the cattle,and have no closets or cupboards,amd have no legs. Still I would like to be as wonderfulas that old idea. But if I were a lily I think I would wait all dayfor the green faceof the hummingbirdto touch me.........My love for MO begins with the "wedge of the wind" "no shelter from the tongues of cattle" and strengthens with "as wonderful as that old idea." But it explodes where she transcends genre, inserts herself, a challenge, perhaps a failing, and waits all day for the touch of the hummingbird. As a student of nature she is expert, she is a master poet, but as a struggling flawed human she becomes my perfect guide. As she bends "Lilies" into a meditation on Van Gogh she adds in a cerebral element that never loses her attitude of praise and appreciation. I read her with quiet hunger.

  • Heidi
    2019-02-11 11:12

    This is a book that travels with me wherever I go. I am always reading a poem or two. It is a forever read - not one I can mark as read.Mary Oliver speaks to my soul through the profundities of nature. Thank you, Mary.

  • Leslie
    2019-01-24 13:21

    This volume of nature poems confirmed Mary Oliver as one of my favorite contemporary poets.

  • Maria
    2019-01-23 13:39

    House of Light. I find the title to be beyond appropriate for this particular collection of poems. This book does house light, and it slips through the cracks that make it a home, hand in hand with hope.“I want to believe that imperfections are nothing –that the light is everything – that it is more than the sumof each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.”Mary Oliver reminds us that pain is not the only thing to cause dents in the sculpture our soul habits. Love, as well as joy, opens wounds; wonder leaves scars behind. Are these faults, though? Are these flaws? It depends on how you choose to look at them. For Mary Oliver they are who we are.“Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?”I adore how her poetry seems to refuse to move on, how it seems not to even accept it as a possibility. Instead, it introduces the idea of carrying on.This collection of poetry thrives on what we would perhaps call the ingenuity of some of the creatures we share this world with. Mary Oliver paints them, reveals them to us, as an example to follow.“they beat their muscular wings,they dream of flyingfor another million yearsover the water,over the ferns,over the world’s roughageas it bleeds and deepens.” They go on, even though they know not what to expect. Whatever happens, happens. They deal with it as it comes, one step at a time. They don’t dwell on what ifs. They embrace what they are, who they are, and that’s exactly whom they embody, no fear of repercussions. “Have you ever found something beautiful and maybe just in time?” It’s such a stunning and tender way of looking at the world.

  • Hissa Reads
    2019-02-19 09:22

    I liked some of the poems and I also disliked some. I'm not a fan of poems that are mainly about nature and birds and all that stuff. But I have got to say some of her poems made me like them a little. Idk the book wasn't that bad I guess.

  • James
    2019-02-01 14:38

    All wintertwo blue heronshunkered in the frozen marsh,like two columns of blue smoke.

  • Lydia
    2019-01-21 15:29

    First half was okay, second half was amazing. As always Mary Oliver kills it. She and I are kindred souls.

  • Nicole K
    2019-02-09 12:31

    This book has soul.

  • Anya
    2019-02-19 15:23

    Mary Oliver is a goddess.

  • Spencer
    2019-02-08 16:39

    Another great collection. Felt like I was on her walks with her. communing with nature, contemplating, breathing it all in. Read at least one each morning (but often couldn't stop at one). The perfect cure for that which ails you.

  • Sarah Ansani
    2019-02-05 09:37

    Mary Oliver watches birds that carry light in their wings. And every strobe of life is a wand. A yellow jettison of perfect light. The birds stroke dark waters. The grasshoppers eat sugar. She's a witness of the wild escapists. She's a hero of the worn and hopeless.

  • Eric
    2019-01-22 12:36

    I don't know exactly what prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downhow to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Mary Oliver is one of my favorites poets. Just as I called Daryl Lukas's collection Talking About Golf 'relaxing' poetry, I can easily call just about everything that Mary Oliver writes, 'contemplative' poetry, or even 'celebratory' poetry. Mary Oliver is able to capture, using the most simple and subtle language, a variety of spiritual and philosophical undertones, leading the reader along on her walks through wildlife, teaching us and asking us questions about the song of birds, the sway of serpents, and the rustling of leaves. She's so incredibly eloquent that it's almost breathtaking. House of Light is Mary Oliver's treatise and contemplation of nature, along with the spiritual inherent within. She explores a field of lilies, first examining them as a whole, seeing their beauty, and then leaning closer to witness their imperfections; she views a snake leaving its den and heading for the sun after a cool winter connecting with its desire to be warm; she finds glory in everything and echoes every bit in her words. I want to believe I am lookinginto the white fire of a great mystery.I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing-that the light is everything-that it is more than the sumof each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.What I love the most about her poetry is that I can so easily connect with it. The denominator is her gratefulness for being alive, and for sharing this incredible journey and experience with the natural world. Directly through her observations, recordings, and poetry, she is able to share it with us. Her praise of God is in the everyday, her imperfections and weakness of understanding only serving to embolden her in her appreciation; her poems, and her awe are her love song. Never once does she express a desire or longing to stand above others, but only to blend into the world, her very state of being serving as enough for her to survive on, her life aimed at the fountainhead, completely satisfied just to be, and to join in the eternal song.I wouldn't mind being a rosein a field full of roses.Another excellent, inspiring, and beautiful collection by Mary Oliver. If you enjoy any of her other collections, you will also, very likely, enjoy this one as I thought:maybe deathisn't darkness, after all,but so much lightwrapping itself around us-as soft as feathers-that we are instantly wearyof looking, and looking, and shut our eyes,not without amazement,and let ourselves be carried,as through the translucence of mica,to the riverthat is without the least dapple or shadow-that is nothing but light -scalding, aortal light-in which we are washed and washedout of our bones.

  • Sienna
    2019-02-09 08:28

    Mary Oliver's poems read like small songs, arpeggios — repeated motifs, staggered lines — intensifying her vision of the natural world and identifying her place in it. This is the first collection of her that I've read; it won't be the last. She immerses herself and her words in nature but ultimately keeps a quiet distance: "What I mean is, / could I forget myself // even in those feathery fields?" As a result her work is less visceral than, say, Sarah Jackson's, though no less deeply felt. I think there's a risk of sensing a sameness of sentiment that really isn't there. Best to read Oliver slowly, closely and in moderation. In kinship.I didn't like all of these pieces in full ("Spring" is an exception), but almost every one contained beauty worth noting and sharing and remembering. Together they make a kind of composite poem: a bit too much, just enough.In every heart there is a coward and a procrastinator.In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waitingto come out of its cloud and lift its wings.*Never mind that he is only a memofrom the offices of fear —it's not size but surge that tells uswhen we're in touch with something real*and how could anyone believethat anything in this worldis only what it appears to be —that anything is ever final —that anything, in spite of its absence, ever diesa perfect death?*Of course! the path to heavendoesn't lie down in flat miles.It's in the imaginationwith which you perceivethis world,and the gestureswith which you honor it.*and what a rebellionto leap into itand hold on,connecting everything,the past to the future —which is of course the miracle —which is the only argument there isagainst the sea.*More and more the moments come to me:how much can the right word do?*I opened my hands —like a promiseI would keep my whole life,and have —and let it go.*clearly I'm not needed,yet I feel myself turninginto something of inexplicable value.*I think this isthe prettiest world — so long as you don't minda little dying, how could there be a day in your whole lifethat doesn't have its splash of happiness?*Because it is goodto be afraid —but not too afraid —I walk carefully*and I don't know when I have beenso frightened,or so happy.*Still, what I want in my lifeis to be willingto be dazzled —to cast aside the weight of factsand maybe evento float a littleabove this difficult world.*If I had another lifeI would want to spend it all on someunstinting happiness.

  • Maxwell
    2019-02-04 09:12

    This review is probably going to be an unpopular opinion considering how well-regarded, successful, and honored Mary Oliver is. However, personally I felt like reading an entire collection of her poems was a bit redundant. Almost all of her poems, and I am not exaggerating, had to do with birds of some sort. And while I understand that is what inspires her to write and produces some beautiful poetry, I think that after reading about 50 poems and over half of them being about owls or finches or kingfishers, etc. it became repetitive and predictable.I believe reading a few of these at a time, or reading them individually, would make for a nicer reading and greater appreciation of Oliver's poems. But since I had to read this in 2 days for a Poetry writing class I am taking, I didn't have that luxury.I will say that there were a few I really enjoyed. And I had read a couple of Oliver's poems beforehand that I really really loved (like "The Summer Day" which appears in this collection. Nevertheless, I was a tad disappointed reading this selection. That's why I'm giving it 3/5. Obviously she is a talented poet, but not my favorite and not the best selection in my opinion.

  • Lis
    2019-02-01 10:33

    I love Mary Oliver in general, so I've slowly been collecting her individual volumes of poetry in addition to the Selected Poems I had first. This is often a good strategy, as it's likely that some of the poems that didn't make it into the selected works will be worth reading anyway., I'm afraid, isn't really worth that effort. There are some excellent poems here, like "Some Questions You Might Ask," "Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard," and "The Lilies Break Open Over the Dark Water." But you'll also find these in her selected works, along with a number of other poems from this book. Those that didn't make the cut--I can see why not. Oliver is not a perfect poet by any means, although the weakness of some of her recent work is the weakness of an established poet with a too-reverent editor, where the weaker poems here are poems that have been well polished but are never going to get any better--more seaglass than sapphires.From "Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard":"Never mind that he is only a memo / from the offices of fear...I hear him in the orchard / fluttering / down the little aluminum / ladder of his scream--"

  • Shannon
    2019-02-03 09:34

    This is my third volume of Mary Oliver's poetry this year and I liked it the least of the three. (I started with Thirst, then read Why I Wake Early.) House of Light was written several years before the other volumes and I could see how her poetry developed over the years. I simply liked the more developed poetry found in her later books.Like Thirst and Why I Wake Early, House of Light is full of poems that will encourage you to look more closely at nature and its maker. Oliver looks at the world with eyes that see more than most and giving yourself a dose of her vision may make you see your own little world afresh.Here's my suggestion: if you're interested in Oliver's poetry, read this volume first, then move on to Thirst, then Why I Wake Early. But if you're only going to give it one shot, start with Why I Wake Early, my personal favorite.

  • Jacque
    2019-02-20 12:10


  • Amey
    2019-02-07 12:34

    The Summer DayWho made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?

  • Nancy
    2019-02-15 13:11

    I love this collection of poetry from the first page with the poem “Some Questions You Might Ask” that begins with “Is the soul solid, like iron? / Or is it tender and breakable, like / the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl? . . . “ to the last poem in the book—“White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field” beginning with “Coming down / out of the freezing sky / with its depths of light, / like an angel, / or a Buddha with wings, . . . “ Oliver blends philosophical thought with the natural world and infuses her poetry with emotion and meaning.

  • Yelda Basar Moers
    2019-02-12 09:13

    To start the new year, here is a brilliant line from Mary Oliver's nature-loving, mystifying collection that will surely inspire and mobilize even the most skeptical reader of poetry. In an otherwise sleepy compilation, I found this line electrifying and wanted to share it. Her unstinting voice comes through like a bird imparting a prophetic message:"Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?"From "The Summer Day."

  • Anna
    2019-02-20 16:18

    "The Summer Day" first captured my attention in the "Americans' Favorite Poems" collection Jesse gave me a few years back. I was particularly captured by the closing lines, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?" This is one of the few collections by a single poet I've bought and read through start to finish, and I love it.

  • T.Kay Browning
    2019-01-31 10:34

    The perfect Thanksgiving read. I think I will definitely make Mary Oliver a thanksgiving tradition.

  • Will
    2019-02-02 14:24

    The beauty of an owl killing in winter. Starving herons whooshing away. The process of life and death. Solace. Peace.

  • Michelle
    2019-01-25 08:12

    Mary Oliver cannot write a bad poem. That's all.

  • Kirsten
    2019-01-29 12:27

    I love Mary Oliver, and this book contains many luminous poems that take nature as their starting point, but move on to something deeper than simply describing the beauty of the natural world.

  • Lisa
    2019-01-30 10:32

    I wanted to start reading more poetry books, so I began with "House of Light" by Mary Oliver. If I had known it would have elicit such a primal response from me, I would have waited until I tried someone else first.Don't get me wrong, I love this poetry book. Mary Oliver's words create such imaginings of nature and the human condition as one and the same. My mind expanded and contracted with wonder and curiosity. I will reread this book over and over again-it's that amazing to me.Many poems stood out to me, but I'll list only three with my bare understanding of each.Pg. 40 The Lilies Break Open Over the Dark Water. As I'm reading along with the flow of a waterlilies' life span, the final verse makes my heart stop, for a beat, and know sorrow. I wonder if it's some sorrow that happened one summer to the author, or is it the sorrow of the lilies short life.Pgs. 76-77 Maybe. No words-just feeling the miracle.Pgs. 79-80 White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field. Transformation. River of souls. Death of a mouse.There are so many more images, but I don't want to spoil these poems. I highly recommend reading and reading again. Let the words carry you wherever your imagination goes. It's quite the trip, this poetic journey of words.

  • Kristin
    2019-01-21 15:30

    "And there they go, tiny rosettes of energy, as though nothing in this world was frightening - as though the only thing that mattered was to praise the world sufficiently - as though they were only looking, lightheartedly, for the next tree in which to sing." - FinchesMy favorite volume to date. Early passages filled with eastern imagery; later passages have a more western-hemisphere feel to them. So easy to close my eyes and see I'm sitting at the pond, watching the turtles, the herons, the snakes. Really enjoyed the praise from nature, from the animals, as well. Birds do sing for a reason, of course. A reminder to be in thanks at every moment.Favorites: The Swan, The Kingfisher, What Is It?, The Notebook, The Ponds, The Summer Day, Finches

  • Jenevieve
    2019-02-09 15:26

    Review first posted on My Blog.A book of poems which my high school junior will be reading a handful of for his English class this year, so of course I read the whole thing.The poems were very nature oriented with a feeling of reverence surrounding it. I generally felt at peace reading many of them, as it seemed to be a free-flowing stream of conscience noticing the world around oneself. I have a feeling that I will end up reading this book again for deeper and deeper meanings.