OLIVER, Mary.

The Night Traveler.

Clevaland: Bits Press, 1978 Stock Code: 146945
£1,000.00
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"There are so many stories, / more beautiful than answers"

First edition, first printing, of the third book of poems by Oliver, in a scarce chapbook printed by Bits Press. Susan Salter Reynolds has described the "Blake-eyed revelatory quality" of Oliver's writing, and so the woodcut by William Blake reproduced on the front cover is a fitting compliment to her collection, which includes "Spring", one of her most celebrated poems.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) is best remembered today for her crystalline style and minute attentiveness to nature, characteristic of Romantic poetry. Richard Tillinghast later wrote 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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Description

Octavo. Original blue wrappers, stapled at the fold, covers lettered in black, reproduction of woodcut by William Blake to front cover in black.

Condition

A very good copy indeed, wrappers faded at edges, one tip creased, occasional foxing to contents, contents otherwise clean and free from marks.

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