2015 Penguin Books
Finished on April 14, 2021
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
“If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger,” Mary Oliver once said in an interview. Finally, in her stunning new collection, Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver’s love poems. Here, great happiness abounds.
Our most delicate chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver has described her work as loving the world. With Felicity she examines what it means to love another person. She opens our eyes again to the territory within our own hearts; to the wild and to the quiet. In these poems, she describes—with joy—the strangeness and wonder of human connection.
I had forgotten that I already read Felicity a couple of years ago! I borrowed a copy from the library for National Poetry Month and wrote about it here. I now have my own copy and added it to my stack of books by Mary Oliver for this year's National Poetry Month reading. There are 38 poems in this collection and I marked five favorites. It doesn't surprise me that all but one were among my favorites in 2019. These are the titles:
Don't WorryStorageThat Tall DistanceNot Anyone Who SaysLate Spring
Three of the poems that I noted as favorites in 2019 did not stand out this time around, which goes to show that writing, whether it's fiction, nonfiction or poetry speaks to us more powerfully depending on our current state of mind and life situations. It will be interesting to see which of these poems resonate with me in the coming years.