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May 1, 2021

Dog Songs

 



Poetry
2015 Penguin Books (first published in 2013)
Finished on April 28, 2021
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Mary Oliver's Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet's relationships to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision, these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.

Dog Songs includes visits with old friends, like Oliver's beloved Percy, and introduces still others in poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver's life merge as fellow travelers and as guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.

Dog Songs is my final selection of Mary Oliver's poetry, which I chose to read for National Poetry Month. While this collection includes 36 poems and essays, only two spoke to me.
How It Is With Us, And How It Is With Them
If You Are Holding This Book

I had hoped for more meaningful (and relatable) poems, but this was a disappointment.

10 comments:

  1. I think I'd have trouble with that many poems about dogs. Love them, but it would be difficult to appreciate that many poems about such a limited topic all grouped together. Spread out in different volumes might have been better.

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    1. Jenclair, that might have been part of the problem. The other issue I had was that most of the poems were about Mary's dogs and I felt that they were to specific and personal to her own experience with them and not universal enough to feel relatable. Some made no sense at all, which is odd because I usually understand what she's trying to say. Oh, well.

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  2. Yeah being a lover of dogs .... I too was expecting a bit more from this collection ... about all things wonderful about the love from a dog etc. ... but it didn't blow me away ..... still there are many great books I think that seem to capture it.

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    1. Susan, you're right about there being a lot of great books that capture the love of dogs. I feel a list/collage coming on... stay tuned!

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  3. That’s a shame it was a disappointment, it has a lovely cover!

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    1. Heather, I loved all of the line drawings (and the cover art).

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  4. I love Mary Oliver, but I skipped this one.

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    1. Deb, you didn't miss much. Her other books are so much better!

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  5. This is on my list to read, but after reading your thoughts I think I'll skip it.

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    1. Vicki, you could always borrow it from the library and skim through to see if any of the poems speak to you.

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