New and Selected Poems | Literature Criticism Critical Review by Paul Oppenheimer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
This section contains 1,263 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Paul Oppenheimer

SOURCE: "The Innocence of a Mirror," in American Book Review, Vol. 15, No. 4, October-November, 1993, p. 11.

In the following excerpt, Oppenheimer reviews New and Selected Poems and praises Oliver for maintaining an honest balance in her portrayals of nature.

Mary Oliver's poetry regards nature with a pioneer's wary eye. Not for her the enthusiasm, which often looks like hysteria these days, of the nature-can-do-no-wrong school of thought, or the worship of natural forces by people who applaud the purity and balance of geological catastrophes, such as tidal waves and avalanches, while dismissing as corruption all valuable and even splendid human accomplishments, such as architecture. Oliver's poetry takes note of a natural murderousness. The lines report the slaughters to be found in any sylvan utopia. They limn a systematic violence. Her aptly horrific sketch of "the soft...

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This section contains 1,263 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Paul Oppenheimer