Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Oliver, Mary. Upstream: Selected Essays. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.

When I first saw this book, its subtitle was "essays and poems." When I received the book, its subtitle was "selected essays." I love Mary Oliver's poetry so I was curious about her writing in the essay format; however, I really was not that thrilled about the book having very little poetry of hers with a couple of exceptions, introducing the book and perhaps one section. I was, however, pleasantly surprised that many of her essays were almost poetic because of the way she described things. In one section she reflects on the writings of other poets, and parts of their poems are included. I found all of the essays readable, but a few did not quite live up to the poetic characteristic of others. Still, all in all, it is a good collection, even if I was disappointed Oliver's own poetry was not really present. This review is based on an advance review copy received by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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