Editorial Review / Publisher's Information:
Now in paperback: the national bestseller from the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet
"To read Thirst, Mary Oliver's most recent book of poems, is to feel gratitude for the simple fact of being alive." —Angela O'Donnell, America Magazine
Thirst, a collection of forty-three new poems from Pulitzer Prize–winner Mary Oliver, introduces two new directions in the poet's work. Grappling with grief at the death of her beloved partner of over forty years, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the first time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her work for four decades.
"Mary Oliver moves by instinct, faith, and determination. She is among our finest poets, and still growing."
—Alicia Ostriker, The Nation
"It has always seemed, across her [many] books of poetry, . . . that Mary Oliver might leave us at any minute. Even a 1984 Pulitzer Prize couldn't pin her to the ground. She'd change quietly into a heron or a bear and fly or walk on forever."
—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
"'My work is loving the world,' Oliver tells us….She has always done that work…in poems of considerable beauty. Now she rises, not above the world, but through it."
—Jay Parini, The Guardian, 10/6/2007
"Mary Oliver is, to my mind, one of the most gifted American poets working in English today. In her hands, the language acquires a lucidity approaching translucence; the accuracy of her vision and the precision of her voice are unique in their refreshing simplicity. Perhaps most singular is the tendency of her poems to be at once powerful and appealing; an affection for the natural world and a sympathy toward the reader abide."
—Katherine Hollander, Pleiades, Fall 2007
"To read Thirst is to feel gratitude for the simple fact of being alive. This is not surprising, as it is the effect [Oliver's] best work has produced in readers for the past 43 years."
—Angela O'Donnell, America magazine
"'My work is loving the world.' That first line of 'Messenger,' the first poem in Mary Oliver's new collection Thirst (Beacon Press), names what she does better than any other poet writing today. Just as Joan Didion's memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, which had a similar 'occasion,' was arguably her best work ever, so is Thirst Oliver's."
—Tim Pfaff, Bay Area Reporter, 1/11/07