Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Dream Work

by Mary Oliver

“Oliver’s poems are thoroughly convincing–as genuine, moving, and implausible as the first caressing breeze of spring.” –The New York Times Book Review

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 96
  • Publication Date May 27, 1986
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3069-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date November 04, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9241-7

About The Book

Dream Work, a collection of forty-five poems, follows both chrono­logically and logically Mary Oliver’s American Primitive, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for the finest book of poetry published in 1983 by an American poet. The depth and diversity of perceptual awareness–so steadfast and radiant in American Primitive–continue in Dream Work. She has turned her attention in these poems to the solitary and difficult labors of the spirit–to accepting the truth about one’s personal world, and to valuing the triumphs while transcending the fail­ures of human relationships.

Whether by way of inheritance–as in her poem about the Holocaust–or through a painful glimpse into the present–as in “Acid,” a poem about an injured boy begging in the streets of Indonesia–the events and tendencies of history take on a new importance here. More deeply than in her previous volumes, the sensibility behind these poems has merged with the world. Mary Oliver’s willingness to be joyful continues, deepened by self-awareness, by experience, and by choice.

Praise

“Her poems are wonderingly perceptive and strongly written, but beyond that they are a spirited, expressive meditation on the impossibili­ties of what we call lives, and on the gratifications of change.” –Hayden Carruth

“Oliver’s poems are thoroughly convincing–as genuine, moving, and implausible as the first caressing breeze of spring.” –The New York Times Book Review

“One of the astonishing aspects of [Oliver’s] work is the consistency of tone over this long period. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets. . . . These poems sustain us rather than divert us. Although few poets have fewer human beings in their poems than Mary Oliver, it is ironic that few poets also go so far to help us forward.” –Stephen Dobyns, The New York Times Book Review