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Iris, Mary Oliver collects ten new poems, two dozen of her poems written over the last two decades, and two previously unpublished essays on the beauty and wonder of plants.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
“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.”
—Renée Loth, Boston Globe