New and Selected Poems | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Jean B. Alford

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
This section contains 2,853 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Jean B. Alford

SOURCE: "The Poetry of Mary Oliver: Modern Renewal Through Mortal Acceptance," in Pembroke Magazine, Vol. 20, 1988, pp. 283-88.

In the following essay, Alford discusses the positive, life-affirming aspects that Oliver's poetry uncovers in nature.

Mary Oliver is a distinctive poet in the fashionably surreal and escapist world of contemporary verse. The message and craft of her poetry are valued by peers and critics alike despite her unfortunate neglect as potential critical review. According to Hyatt H. Waggoner, she lacks the representative qualities associated with contemporary aesthetic values. However, her real worth as a modern poet lies in these very atypical qualities. Representative contemporary poets gloomily doom modern man and his life in apprehensive responses to present political, social, economic, and moral uncertainties. Oliver instead passionately affirms their survival. Within them both, she exalts the natural—an inherently renewing...

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This section contains 2,853 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jean B. Alford