In Blue Iris, Mary Oliver collects ten new poems, two dozen of her poems written over the last two decades, and two previously unpublished essays on the beauty and wonder of plants. The poet considers roses, of course, as well as poppies and peonies; lilies and morning glories; the thick-bodied black oak and the fragrant white pine; the tall sunflower and the slender bean.
“A thematic bouquet about plants and the creatures that live among them . . . Punctuated by illustrations derived from electronically scanned flower specimens, it is a handsome book filled with excellent work.” —Jay Rogoff, Southern Review
“Blue Iris fortuitously offers an extended sequence and new contexts for a writer whose precise eye and instinct for surprising images have made her one of the best practitioners of the lyrical revelation . . . Oliver continues to earn applause and admiration for continuing to provide redemptive meditation and supple praises for nature in a time when so much is under threat.” —R. T. Smith, Shenandoah
“A companion to Oliver’s recent Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, this work presents poetry in free verse, which Oliver has perfected in all of its musicality and rhythm.” —Library Journal
“Poems like ‘Some Questions You Might Ask,’ The Hermit Crab,’ ‘Wings,’ ‘Turtle,’ Roses, Late Summer’ take my breath away. What I feel is an immense gratitude that they are written, and that I can read them over and over. I think of Oliver as a fierce, uncompromising lyricist, a loyalist of the marshes. Hers is a voice we desperately need.”