book beginnings on Friday: Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.

I am very interested to be diving into my first Mary Oliver with an essay collection. I know her by reputation, naturally.

upstream

It starts in lovely form:

One tree is like another tree, but not too much. One tulip is like the next tulip, but not altogether. More or less like people–a general outline, then the stunning individual strokes. Hello Tom, hello Andy. Hello Archibald Violet, and Clarissa Bluebell. Hello Lilian Willow, and Noah, the oak tree I have hugged and kissed every first day of spring for the last thirty years. And in reply its thousands of leaves tremble! What a life is ours! Doesn’t anybody in the world anymore want to get up in the

middle of the night and
sing?

I see here trees; poetry; playfulness; and a spirit of celebration, which I do associate with Oliver. Feeling positive: happy Friday.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

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