Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems

ISBN 10: 0395850843 / ISBN 13: 9780395850848
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Synopsis: From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, her most personal book yet "What good company Mary Oliver is!" the Los Angeles Times has remarked. And never more so than in this extraordinary and engaging gathering of nine essays, accompanied by a brief selection of new prose poems and poems. (One of the essays has been chosen as among the best of the year by THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1998, another by The Anchor Essay Annual.) With the grace and precision that have won her legions of admirers, Oliver talks here of turtle eggs and housebuilding, of her surprise at an unexpected whistling she hears, of the "thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else." She talks of her own poems and of some of her favorite poets: Poe, writing of "our inescapable destiny," Frost and his ability to convey at once that "everything is all right, and everything is not all right," the "unmistakably joyful" Hopkins, and Whitman, seeking through his poetry "the replication of a miracle." And Oliver offers us a glimpse as well of her "private and natural self -- something that must in the future be taken into consideration by any who would claim to know me."

Review: Poet Mary Oliver wants us to consider the many disparate elements of Winter Hours as "a long and slowly arriving letter--somewhat disorderly, natural in expression, and happily unfinished." And what a welcome letter it is. Oliver touches on the building of houses and the laying of turtle eggs. She ponders the work of Frost ("Everything is all right, say the meter and the rhyme; everything is not all right, say the words"), Poe, Whitman, and Hopkins. She includes some of her own poems and prose poems. And she speaks beautifully of the work of poem-building.

Perhaps more than any other poet writing today, Oliver is an inhabitant and deep observer of the natural world, a place without which, she says, she could not be a poet. All of her poems have been "if not finished at least started--somewhere out-of-doors," and her appreciation of the out-of-doors is all encompassing, defiant of standard classifications. "The world," she says, "is made up of cats, and cattle, and fenceposts!" Oliver so embraces the outdoors that one feels terrible for her that "the labor of writing poems" is so antithetical to being in nature. "Only oddly, and not naturally ... are we found, while awake, in the posture of deliberate or hapless inaction," she says. "But such is the posture of the poet, poor laborer." It is our good fortune that she makes the sacrifice, so that we can experience, through her poems, "the nudge, the prick of the instant, the flame of appreciation that shoots from my heels to my head when compass grass bends its frilled branches and draws a perfect circle on the cold sand." --Jane Steinberg

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Title: Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Essays and poems by the Pulitzer Prize winner. Bookseller Inventory # 1366482

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition; First Printing. 0.79 x 8.35 x 5.59 Inches; 128 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 280613

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good +. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +price Clipped. American First. Complete number line from 1 to 10; minor wear; one top page corner was previously turned down; otherwise a solid, clean copy with no marking or underlining; collectible condition. Bookseller Inventory # 165968

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Book Description Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Included. 1st Edition. First edition, F/F An extraordinary and engaging gathering of essays, new prose and poems. Appears to be an unread copy. Bookseller Inventory # ML7563

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1999. Cloth. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine Dust Jacket. 109 pp. Tightly bound. Corners not bumped. Text is Free of Markings. FIRST EDITION / FIRST PRINTING. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 056821

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1999. Hard Cover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As new in mylar cover. First Edition. As new in dust jacket. By the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Bookseller Inventory # 39153

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