A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver, The Penguin Press, 2012, 77 pp
A BIT OF MUSING ABOUT POETRY
I read an entire book of poetry! I have not read poetry since I was in 8th grade and fell in love with Edna St Vincent Millay: "Renascence" and "My Candle Burns At Both Ends" and so many more. I have read a little Millay over the years, especially after reading a biography for Young Adults in 1997, Edna St Vincent Millay, America's Best Loved Poet by Toby Shafter and Nancy Milford's very adult and very wonderful Savage Beauty in 2002.
For the past few years I have read the Tao Te Ching over and over, a chapter a day, and it helped me through many rough patches. But as 2016 dawned, I was feeling much more stable in my personal life and cast around for something else to pursue during what had come to be a daily devotional reading.
I was introduced by Carmen of Carmen's Books and Movie Reviews blog to another blog, The Nature of Things, by Dorothy from Texas. She does a poetry feature every Sunday and I began reading her posted poems. I found I could suddenly enjoy poetry again. Why not read a poem a day?
My daughter-in-law's sister had raved to me about Mary Oliver when she stayed with me a couple summers ago, so I started with A Thousand Mornings, found at my local library.
Her poems in this volume are mostly short observances of the natural world around her as it relates to her state of mind. There was not one poem I didn't like and many brought me either balm or a good kick in the pants, both needed because of the weird places my mind goes sometimes.
I will read her again. Since finishing this slim volume, I have turned to the Penguin Classics edition of W B Yeats Selected Poems, because spring always makes me want to go to Ireland. I'll be on this one for a while since the book contains over 200 poems. It's all good.
(A Thousand Mornings is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)