New and Selected Poems | Literature Criticism Critical Review by Ben Howard

This literature criticism consists of approximately 3 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
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Critical Review by Ben Howard

SOURCE: "World and Spirit, Body and Soul," in Poetry, Vol. 158, No. 6, September, 1991, pp. 342-43.

In the following review of House of Light, Howard finds that Oliver's poems "evoke the fears, sorrows, and joys of the solitary spirit."

Mary Oliver's purpose is as rare as her austere, insistent voice. In Dream Work Oliver portrayed herself as the humble celebrant of natural enigmas, "learning / little by little to love / our only world." In the present collection, her eighth, she reaffirms that purpose, declaring flatly that there is "only one question: how to love this world." By turns retiring or demanding, self-effacing or peremptory, these new poems honor the otherness of the natural world, even as they contemplate "the white fire of a great mystery." Placing the self in the stream of...

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This section contains 873 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Ben Howard