First Edition of Mary Oliver's Dream Work; Signed by Her

  • Dream Work.
  • Dream Work.

Dream Work.

Item Number: 62988

Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986.

First edition of this early collection by Mary Oliver. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Mary Oliver on the title page. Ex-library copy with the usual markings. Jacket design by Char Lappan.

Dream Work, a collection of forty-five poems, follows both chronologically and logically Mary Oliver’s American Primitive, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1983. The depth and diversity of perceptual awareness — so steadfast and radiant in American Primitive — continues in Dream Work. Additionally, she has turned her attention in these poems to the solitary and difficult labors of the spirit — to accepting the truth about one’s personal world, and to valuing the triumphs while transcending the failures of human relationships. Dream Work continues Oliver’s search to “understand both the wonder and pain of nature” according to Prado in a later review for the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Ostriker considered Oliver “among the few American poets who can describe and transmit ecstasy, while retaining a practical awareness of the world as one of predators and prey.” For Ostriker, Dream Work is ultimately a volume in which Oliver moves “from the natural world and its desires, the ‘heaven of appetite’...into the world of historical and personal suffering...She confronts as well, steadily,” Ostriker continued, “what she cannot change.”