Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Synopses & Reviews
The fifty poems in American Primitive make up a body of luminous unity. Mary Oliver's visionary poems enunciate the renewals of nature and the renewals of humanity in love, in oneness with the natural, in union with the things of this world. Lyrical and elegiac, Mary Oliver celebrates the primitive things of America the wilderness that survives both within our bodies and outside "...the cords / of my body stretching / and singing in the / heaven of appetite."
"Mary Oliver's poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing. Her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations. American Primitive enchants me with the purity of its lyic voice, the loving freshness of its perceptions, and the singular glow of a spiritual life brightening the pages." Stanley Kunitz
"Far beneath teh surface-flash of linguistic effect, Mary Oliver works her quite and mysterious spell. It is a spell, unlike any other poet's, the enchantment of the true maker." James Dickey
"These poems are natural growths out of a loam of perception and feeling, and instinctive skill with language makes them seem effortless. Reading them is a sensual delight." May Swenson