New and Selected Poems | Literature Criticism Critical Review by David Baker

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
This section contains 1,177 words
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Critical Review by David Baker

SOURCE: A review of House of Light, in The Kenyon Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter, 1991, pp. 192-202.

In the following excerpt, Baker questions the "isolationist" and "righteous" tendencies in Oliver's poetry.

Like Stanley Plumly, Mary Oliver is a poet who reworks her passions. While Plumly's poems may have relatively few characters, Oliver's are downright isolated, hermetic; and while Plumly's phrasing is slow, severe, haunted, Mary Oliver's music is loose, humble, casual, innocent. I happen to like her work a good bit, and so find her new House of Light full of pleasures worth my repeated attention, but I also maintain a suspicion or two.

What I like most about Oliver's poems is their reverence for the natural world, their politics (usually implied rather than declared) of ecology, stewardship...

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This section contains 1,177 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by David Baker