Review #7: ‘A Thousand Mornings’ by Mary Oliver

  • PUBLISHED BY: The Penguin Press, 2012
  • REVIEW BY: Timothy Liu


I enthusiastically give this book one star because, as it happens, most of the one-star reviews in Amazon for this very book speak so much more succinctly and eloquently than I can (thank you Reader in Virginia! Thank you Avid Reader!!) in the same way Richard Howard once astonished me critically by pointing out how Marianne Moore, who began her career as a major Modernist with a book like Observations, somehow managed to turn herself into Mary Poppins by the time O To Be a Dragon hit the stands, a career trajectory Ms. Oliver has been all too adept in following, which is to anachronistically say, please turn to ANY page in A Thousand Mornings and what you will find is something that sounds exactly like bad children’s poetry, truly!, so what choice do I have but to hereby send your abused inner-child on a scavenger hunt straight into the fields of Oliver to find one golden egg hidden in it, and sadly, don’t you already know what you will not find?

Disclosures: Alas, there are no more moments. Who knows, maybe a thousand mornings from now . . .

Favorites: The least worst poem in this collection would have to be “Tides” where a last vestige of musicality remains in tact.