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Mary Oliver A Poetry Handbook

I just finished reading Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook. I absolutely love the book.
What she thinks about the nature of poetry composing process,
“Who knows anyway what it is, that wild, silky part of ourselves without which no poem can live?”

Her practical considerations about the craft, such as

“reliable rhythms can invite, or can dissuade. A meaningful rhythm will invite. A meaningless rhythm will dissuade.“

Her thoughts on how important to learn works of our predecessors,
“To be contemporary is to rise through the stack of the past, like the fire through the mountain. Only a heat so deeply and intelligently born can carry a new idea into the air.”

The poet wrote an inspiring and helpful guidance and in her last paragraphs she shared practical advices how to organize life as a poet, she mentioned that poets can survive on just enough money to feed a chicken.

I am grateful to her for writing such a great book.


Good insights IRiz...thanks for sharing...


raj (sublime_ocean)

You are welcome


author comment

I love Mary Oliver. My Aunt introduced me too her...she has dementia now and I've often thought I should visit her and sit, and read some Oliver to her. But here I am. I haven't done that yet. A hero would do that, Mary Oliver would do that, but I have not done it. So I might still. Anyway, thank you IRiz for the reminder. Its funny honest comment...telling the truth about yourself...being vulnerable and saying what is important to you...can blossom out in ways you never expect. Thanks...I'm going to see my Aunt. :)

Do that my friend, I am sure you both will enjoy the reading time together.


author comment

"The Ode Less Travelled" by Stephen Fry
"The Poets Manual and Rhyming Dictionary by Frances Stillman

Neopoet Directors

I will take a look. Thank you.
Now I am into the Art of Haiku by Stephen Addiss.
Great write.


author comment

on that one and she is a very scholarly woman, but I dlsliked what she said about unpleasant images; how we shouldn't be excessive with them, all that.

I think the better book is Alfred Corn's "The Poem's Heartbeat" and less so but (still) Lewis Turco's "Book of Forms".

Perhaps. Thank you


author comment

I am smiling.
Have your meal, sleep, wake up, look around, get surprised with a small thing or two, write it down, repeat the above with spontaneous skipping steps -- Life of a poet.


author comment
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