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Poet Extraordinaire: Mary Oliver and her Work  

A private person by nature, Mary Oliver has given very few interviews over the years. Instead, she preferred to let her work speak for itself. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver received numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, to name a few. "Mary Oliver ranks among the finest poets the English language has ever produced. Whether she's describing a caterpillar's transformation ... or describing her own mystical connection to birdsong ... she almost always can come up with striking, resonant images ... Oliver observes with great sensitivity, and puts her impressions in verse in a way that few can match ... her poetry is rigorous, beautiful, well written, and offers genuine insights into the natural world." Eli Lehrer, The Weekly Standard. This class will explore her poetry and endeavor to determine whether Oliver is truly a visionary in the manner of Emerson and Thoreau or whether she is a romantic who is greatly in tune with the natural world. Many of her poems will discussed Whether class members have read Oliver or not, each will surely leave this class with a poem that will resonate for years to come.

Suggested, but not required, text: "Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver" ISBN-13: 978-0399563249


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