Winter Hours, Mary Oliver (4.0)
Since I’ve never been a big poetry reader, I’m unfamiliar with our most famous poets. Luckily I was introduced to the writings of Mary Oliver, often lauded and bemoaned as an ‘accessible’ poet. After reading ‘Winter Hours’, a mixture of poetry and prose, I decided I was just fine with that accessibility. I particularly enjoyed that she described what she thought good poetry should do and followed with her poem, ‘The Swan’, that illustrated the points. The introduction announces that the elements of the book are all based on her experience, so generally autobiographical, and it felt true to a personality type. I particularly liked the Sand Dab section (‘a small, boney, not very significant but well-put-together fish’) of aphorisms such as: ‘When men sell their souls, where do the souls go?’ It was a short enough book with quite a few beautiful, memorable passages for me to recommend whether you are a fan of poetry or not.