Reviews

Upstream: Selected Essays, by Mary Oliver

alli_gab's review

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hopeful reflective relaxing slow-paced

2.5

anelucie's review

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inspiring reflective relaxing slow-paced

4.0

devorahthebee's review

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slow-paced

2.0

I don’t like transcendentalism so I don’t know why I expected to like this book

annedeutsch's review

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reflective medium-paced

4.5

jengennari's review

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4.0

In this collection of essays, Mary Oliver describes in delicious detail the familiar woods and ponds and creatures that animate much of her poetry. She also explores Emerson, Whitman and Poe in a nearly scholarly way, reminding us that she is an expert in the craft and purpose of poetry. She ends with a love letter to building a house/shed and to the Provincetown before tourism. Throughout, I felt the creep of age, of someone slowing down.

saraqas's review

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reflective relaxing fast-paced

4.75

emmie_mort's review against another edition

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5.0

I can't possibly say enough wonderful things about this book, as always with collections there are parts you love more than others but I fell in love with sentences, with passages, with essays.

I'm already looking forward to rereading.

arsenic_'s review

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2.5

While I have grown to love Oliver's poetry, there were moments in this book that I could not overlook. I found it hard to believe her posture of reverence towards nature could co-exist with the ways that she interacted with many of the animals she wrote about. This book was hard to get through for me, and left me with a bit of a distaste for Oliver's approach to animals, literary history, and politics. I think I will stick to reading her nature poetry. 

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nagev's review

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reflective slow-paced

2.5


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margaret_adams's review

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Though familiar with her poetry, this was my first time reading Mary Oliver's essays. Passionate without being sentimental and--you can't not say it--lyrical. I enjoyed her essays on Whitman, Emerson, Poe and Wordsworth more than I expected to.