Last fall, Mary Oliver read at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference. A clip of her reading “The Journey” at the conference was featured on Nightline the other night, and we wanted to share with you the full video of the event. She also reads “Wild Geese,” “Percy (One),” “The Summer Day,” and “Mornings at Blackwater.” She is, as always, positively a delight to watch.
“The Journey,” “Wild Geese,” and “The Summer Day” may all be found in New and Selected Poems, Volume One. “Mornings at Blackwater” may be found in Red Bird. Thirteen Percy poems, including the one she reads here, may be found in The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays, which also reprints “The Summer Day.”
“One of the astonishing aspects of Oliver’s work is the consistency of tone over this long period [of her career]. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets . . . There is no complaint in Ms. Oliver’s poetry, no whining, but neither is there the sense that life is in any way easy . . . These poems sustain us rather than divert us. Although few poets have fewer human beings in their poems than Mary Oliver, it is ironic that few poets also go so far to help us forward.”
—Stephen Dobyns, New York Times Book Review