Blue Horses, Mary Oliver, 2014
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Blue Horses, Mary Oliver, 2014 (3/16/15): Oliver is back with her usual evocative stanzas about nature, birds, the shore, the woods, etc, but she provides hints of a new life—illness (unspecified cancer which she poetically refers to as the ‘fourth sign of the zodiac’), a new lover, time in Florida or the Caribbean (mangroves). The title refers to a painting by Franz Marc, a member of the Blue Reiter group, who died in WWI in 1916 at the age of 36. While I’m not usually a fan of Oliver’s often saccharine and pat descriptions of nature, there are some marvelous lines and images in these new poems: a riverine gulch referred to as a ‘bolt of light’; ‘that fiercely wanting, as we all do, a little more of life’; ‘no, I am none of these meaningful things, not yet.’; ‘only because I think I didn’t stay long enough.’ Her poem “What I Can Do’ is a contender for this year’s essay and ‘What we Want’ has these wonderful lines about poetry: In a poem/people want something/inexplicable/made plain,/easy to swallow. Isn’t that the truth and since truth is what it’s all about, isn’t this a fine book!