Oliver, Mary. The leaf and the cloud; a poem.

Author:Beschta, James
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Perseus, Da Capo. 55p. c2000. 0-306-81073-5. $14.00. SA

Mary Oliver opens with the line "Welcome to the silly, comforting poem." Only the "comforting" part of the description is true. This wonderful book-length poem is grand in scope, ambitious, at places almost biblical in tone and focus. "Then the grass curls or breaks, or we cut it. / What does it matter? / Do you think the grass growing so wild and thick / for its own life? / Do you think the cutting is the ending, and not, also, / a beginning?" Only Oliver identifies so completely with the world and offers poetry from her unique perspective. "And now she's nothing / except for mornings when I take a handful of words / and throw them into the air / so that she dashes up against us in the darkness ... " In this meditative piece Oliver acknowledges that "Maybe the world, without us, / is the real poem."

The seven...

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