Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays

Owls and Other Fantasies Poems and Essays Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life hawks hummingbirds and herons kingfishers catbirds and crows swans

  • Title: Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
  • Author: Mary Oliver
  • ISBN: 9780807068755
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life hawks, hummingbirds, and herons kingfishers, catbirds, and crows swans, swallows, and, of course, the snowy owl among a dozen others including ten poems original to this volume She adds two beautifully crafted essays, Owls, selected for thWithin these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life hawks, hummingbirds, and herons kingfishers, catbirds, and crows swans, swallows, and, of course, the snowy owl among a dozen others including ten poems original to this volume She adds two beautifully crafted essays, Owls, selected for the Best American Essays series, and Bird, one that will surely take its place among the classics of the genre.

    One thought on “Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays”

    1. These poems are like random treasures that a faraway friend has collected over the years, assembled into a care package, and flown to you by old-fashioned postal mail. You dip into the box, and one by one unwrap them, anticipating delight. Some are whimsical, some intense, some meditative. All are infused with love. All are about birds in the wild --owls and great blue herons and loons, a flicker, a kingfisher and many others. Interspersed with the poems are exquisite, finely detailed drawings o [...]

    2. He was, of course, a piece of the sky. His eyes said so. This is not fact, this is the other part of knowing something, when there is no proof, but neither is there any way toward disbelief. Imagine lifting the lid from a jar and finding it filled not with darkness but with light. Bird was like that. Startling, elegant, alive.But the day we knew must come did at last, and then the non-responsiveness of his eyes was terrible. It was late February when I came downstairs, as usual, before dawn. The [...]

    3. "Every day I walk out into the worldto be dazzled, then to be reflective."She does, and she teaches us how to do both.Of the hawk, she writes:"this is not something of the red fire, this is heaven's fistfulof death and destruction"And of the crow:" who has seen anything cleaner, bolder, more gleaming, more certain of its philosophy than the eye he turns back?"To me she writes:"Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination,calls to you like the wild geese, hars [...]

    4. Poems and two essays about birds. This poet really knows how to turn a phrase. Never mind that he is only a memo from the offices of fear. I know this bird. If it could,it would eat the whole world.

    5. Mary Oliver--a follower of spirit animals, is my spirit animal. In this book, she muses on the feathered menagerie near her home [at that time]. When some equate owls with omens, she equates them with blood-lust and duty. A flying, clawed, downy vehicle of purposed living. The "other fantasies" within this slim volume include the dipping and rising starlings, and my favorite poem, about the Catbird. "For he will never sing for the kingdom of dollars.For he will never grow pockets in his gray win [...]

    6. Somebody had the bright idea of collecting Mary Oliver's bird poems, and voila! Owls and Other Fantasies was born. 16 out of 25 poems (i.e. about a third of the book) came from earlier books, as did 1 of the 2 essays. The book is obviously targeted at birders and Mary Oliver's fans; its commercial considerations overshadow whatever aesthetic merit it has.The verse is best described as pandering. Its questions are obvious, its spirituality is tinselly, its consolations cheap. The first poem of th [...]

    7. I think you all already know how much I love Mary Oliver. These poems, and especially the essays, are wonderful.

    8. I am happy to have spent the majority of today reading Mary Oliver’s poetry. An entire book of poetry and essays about birds. This book was made for me. I want to write one of my own.

    9. I don't like poetry very much, but I love Mary Oliver's poetry. Her reflections about nature are so beautiful. She makes you want to go out and take a walk in the woods.

    10. Another compilation of previously published poems and essays, with a handful of new ones, in this case all about birds. Oliver is simply amazing. She makes subjects you may not care about feel meaningful and inspiring and filled with, for lack of a better word from my atheist brain, grace. While all of the essays are short and powerful, I especially liked the one about caring for a crippled gull she found on the beach for three months one winter. She called him Bird: “He was, of course, a piec [...]

    11. Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, by Mary Oliver, is a beautiful bird inspired collection. Oliver, a contemporary American poet, is well known for her intimate, rich descriptions of the natural world. This collection includes 26 free verse and prose poems, as well as two essays. It is a celebration of all winged, singing creatures in nature, of both their simplicity and complexity, their flight and songs. Oliver takes the time to carefully observe and understand them through her words. [...]

    12. . . . so long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole lifethat doesn't have its splash of happiness?--The KingfisherReading Mary Oliver's work is a sacrament and a benediction. Although the subject is birds, Owls and Other Fantasies is a sacred text that discloses the meaning of life, framing its joy and its beauty without overlooking or denying any part of it, including death. A plain-spoken poet who weaves her spells with everyday images, Oliver is accessible t [...]

    13. A magnificent anthology. This is one of two collections by Mary Oliver long looked forward to that finally arrived on my doorstep. I meant to read only one or two poems, but instead settled in for the whole book. Poetry and essays and lovely prose in this and other recently read volumes have all signaled a shift to a more meditative state of looking inward as I reflect on the beauty of life and even death as the year draws to a close. The bit of unexpected whimsy swirling throughout perfectly ti [...]

    14. It’s about owls and birds but not really - life, death and everything beyond it. I’m caring for and observing them Mary Oliver comments on our fleeting human mortality. Mostly comprised of poems and a couple of essays. My favorites were the essay called “Bird” and a poem “Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond”

    15. Mary Oliver has a way of enchanting you with her well written poems. It takes you along with her to explore the beauty of the planet we usually take for granted. Her words inspires imagination, compassion, and they open your eyes to see what she sees. Beauty is every where you just have to look closely to let your imagination run wild!

    16. Mother Nature could choose no better ambassador than Mary Oliver. She communicates such vast ideas of life and death in such simple, beautiful words. Reading her poems brings small details of the world around me into sharp focus, rendering something as casual as spotting an owl into a reflection on fear, oblivion, and terrifying beauty.

    17. the poems were three stars at best -- nowhere near her usual level of poignancy, i think -- but the essays, as usual, were gorgeous.

    18. Mary Oliver never fails to astonish me with her jarringly simple prose that pierces the very essence of my being. This wonderful little collection of poems and essays was a delight to read."Every day I walk out into the worldto be dazzled, then to be reflective."

    19. Mary Oliver’s gift of making you look anew at nature is well documented. Still, I approached Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, with some trepidation. Was this compilation of poems about birds just a slick packaging/re-marketing of her previous work? It could be, but of the 26 poems appearing here, 10 have never been collected. In addition to the poems are two outstanding essays, including one written for this collection.I’m not a birder — I can pick out the main ones, but my wife [...]

    20. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. --Mary OliverAlthough slender, Owls and Other Fantasies is a solid collection of poems and essays about birds. There is a wistful tone permeating these selections, although both birds and poet are grounded in their "place in the family of things," as the first poem, "Wild Geese," states.But where is that place? In poems like "Catbird" and "Crow," the bird's world and that of the poet are too different for any real connection, beyond the poet [...]

    21. I thought I owned every book Mary Oliver has ever written, but when I spotted this at the library I found out I had missed one. It’s a beautiful collection of poems about birds like the wild geese “. . .high in the clean blue air” that call to us “. . .over and over announcing. . .” our place in the family of things. Like all her poems these remind us of what can happen when we pay close attention to nature, in this case the beautifully feathered things of the world like goldfinches, h [...]

    22. Mary Oliver is certainly a name to know when it comes to modern poetry. Her work is new, but she writes as an old soul. Owls and Other Fantasies is a prime example. Reading Oliver's work reminded me of reading Emerson or Whitman. She has that deep appreciation of nature. Oliver looks at the beauty around her a bit deeper than most people do. For example she writes in her poem "Spring," "My, in his/black-feckled vest, bay body with/red trim and sudden chrome/underwings, his is/dapper" Her descrip [...]

    23. I chose this book because I wanted one of the collections that included "Wild Geese," and it turns out that all the poems in it are about birds. They're all lovely, and although "Wild Geese" is still my favorite, there are a couple others that have stuck in my mind. "Bird," a prose piece about rescuing an injured seagull, is both heartbreaking and beautiful. "The Kingfisher" has such striking imagery, but I was also intrigued by what it seems to say about imperfection as a cost of being human. I [...]

    24. Vocab: browse-noun-tender shoots or twigs of shrubs and trees as food for cattle, deer, etc. stippled-adjective-having a pattern of dotsaortal-adjective-[C16: from New Latin, from Greek aortē, literally: something lifted, from aeirein to raise] something hung, carried; akin to aeírein to lift, carry (dictionary) Excerpt from "Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond""and so many mysteriesbeautiful as eggs in a nest,still unhatchedthough warm and watched overby something I have never se [...]

    25. What more can I say about Mary Oliver than I have already stated many times. Here are some of her words that speak to my heart."And thus the world is full of leaves and feathers, and comfort, and instruction." (from The Dipper)"Are there trees near you,and does your own soul need comforting?Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the songmay already be drifting away." (From Such Singing in the Wild Branches)"Said Mrs. Blake of the poet:I miss my husband's company-he is so often i [...]

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