A dazzling new collection of essays, poems, and prose poems by the best-selling author of The Leaf and the Cloud and What Do We Know.
“Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. ‘Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?’ This book is my comment.” —from the Foreword
“The gift of Oliver’s poetry is that she communicates the beauty she finds in the world and makes it unforgettable” (Miami Herald). This has never been truer than in Long Life, a luminous collection of seventeen essays and ten poems. With consummate craftsmanship, Mary Oliver has created a breathtaking volume sure to add to her reputation as “one of our very best poets” (New York Times Book Review).
“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