Why I Wake Early

In an interview with poet Mary Oliver published a few years ago in Giving Their Word (University of Massachusetts Press), Steven Ratiner remarked that “poets of praise” are “almost an endangered species” and that the “happiness necessary to write in praise of life is almost considered a weakness in the art world’s very definition of modernity. How can you be truly contemporary if you still feel that!” Oliver has never bothered to follow poetic fashion. Instead she has persisted for over 40 years in simply doing what she does well: practicing loving attention to the natural world.


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