Review by: Susan Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review - November 6, 2006
"It has always seemed, across her 15 books of poetry, five of prose and several essays and chapbooks, that Mary Oliver might leave us any minute. Even a 1984 Pulitzer Prize couldn't pin her to the ground. She'd change quietly into a heron or a bear and fly or walk off forever. Her poems contain windows, doors, transformations, hints on how to escape the body; there's the 'glamour of death' and the 'life after the earth-life'…The new poems teem with creation: ravens, bees, hawks, box turtles, bears. The landscape is Thoreauvian: ponds, marsh, grass and cattails; New England's "salt brightness"; and fields in "pale twilight." The poems from Why I Wake Early (2004) are, in contrast, full of white things and "untrimmable light"; from Owls and Other Fantasies (2003), of watery sounds, singing, rain; from West Wind (1997), of starry distances and traveling. A reader sees the outlines of autobiography. Isn't that what an author intends, in choosing, if not favorites, at least signposts in selected work?"
Review: ForeWord - April 12, 2006
"This poet contemplates the natural world with deep and soulful attention, and then, with simple words sparely arranged, verbalizes the relationship between Earth and the human spirit. She provides the modern voice of the spirituality inherent in consideration of Nature."
Review by: Frederick & Mary Ann Brussat, www.spiritualityhealth.com - November 29, 2005
"As regular readers of our book reviews already know, we can't get enough of the exquisite poetry of Mary Oliver. She tutors us in the art of long-looking, opens our eyes to the wonders and mysteries that abound in the natural world, and relishes animals and all the enchantments that come with being in their presence. There is a devotional quality to her poems that brings a hush to our minds and demands silent attention. The words mesmerize us and suddenly we find ourselves bewitched by the delicious joy and delight of her poetry."
Review by: Whitney Williams, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH - November 8, 2005
"In Oliver's latest collection, fluttering petals are little fires, blue herons are the poems Oliver wishes to write, and Percy, her dog, hungrily consumes the Bhagavad Gita and extracts Donald Rumsfeld from the armpit of the president in order to inspire more rational behavior. Mary Oliver wants to break our hearts, or, as she says, to open them up so that they will never again close to the world. I doubt that my heart has ever been more lovingly broken."