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House of Light.

Boston: Beacon Press, 1990 Stock Code: 146956
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"I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing - / that the light is everything... And I do"

First edition, first printing, signed by the author on the title page. This is an advance review copy, with a letter from the publisher loosely inserted.

House of Light is the ninth book of poems by Oliver. It includes her poem "The Ponds", in which Oliver memorably defends herself from the charge that her work is too idealistic about the world: "I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing - / that the light is everything... And I do" (p. 58).

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) is best remembered today for her crystalline style and minute attentiveness to nature, characteristic of Romantic poetry. Richard Tillinghast has written that "her familiarity with the natural world has an uncomplicated, nineteenth-century feeling", and she has been compared to Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Emily Dickinson. As with Dickinson, Oliver lived for most of her life in Massachusetts, writing poems from her home in Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and the National Book Award in 1992. The Harvard Review described her as "a poet of wisdom and generosity whose vision allows us to look intimately at a world not of our making. The humbling effect of that perspective is her lasting gift to readers."

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Octavo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered in silver. With dust jacket, and a letter from the publisher loosely inserted.


A fine copy, contents clean and fresh, in the near-fine dust jacket, tiny scuff to front cover, else fresh and sharp.


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