27th March, 2022

Review: A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver (Penguin)

Today I’m reviewing a genre that you normally don’t often find on this blog. I don’t really know why I don't often talk about verse here because I do love good poetry and - as Plato once said - “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” Mary Oliver’s collection is a great example of that:

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall–
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

Mary Oliver’s poems are both simple (in a positive way) and touching. “I go down to the shore” was the first text of hers that I ever came across and it hooked me immediately. As a result, I bought myself this collection and I must say that I enjoyed every single poem. Some texts are a bit like affirmations or aphorisms, others are more along the lines of traditional poetry but all of them are calming and soothing.

Oliver writes about the little moments, the small intricacies of life, the seemingly mundane that has so much effect on our being without us noticing. A lot of the poems in A Thousand Mornings make you reevaluate how you approach these ordinary everyday events - to enjoy the moment, to not sweat the small stuff, to consider issues within the greater whole. I found them equally touching, encouraging and inspiring.

If you are looking to include more poetry in your life, Mary Oliver may be a good start, especially if you happen to have “poetry phobia” from your school days. These poems are for everyone, they don’t require elaborate decoding of metaphors but they speak from and to the heart.

Rating: 5/5 stars

© Copyright The Constant Reader

All texts and photographs are mine, unless indicated otherwise.