I'm Reading House of Light now. geez I love her writing so. There's a moment of settling in before the ride takes off - sometimes only the first line is needed. Or if I'm distracted, a few lines or even the poem itself must be read a second time. Then it happens. I am one with the word, the image; the transference occurs. The least modifier strikes home to me, the word "sweet" carries connotations even beyond her intentions. Or maybe not. It's a state of being, reading Mary Oliver.
But what I've observed in House of Light:
- Oliver will describe tersely and often uses figurative language (metaphor, simile) to describe the modifier.
- Oliver uses a story as a path to an "answer"
- The words "river," "heart," "flower," and "trees" predominate her poems, at least one appearing in almost every poem.
Nothing high brow... Just a few thoughts.