First line: “‘In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.’ This is a gem of a book that left me breathless with the simplicity of her choice of words combined with the magnitude of her reflection on nature. I keep asking myself “how does Mary Oliver do it?” Emotionally powerful.
“Uniting essays from Oliver’s previous books and elsewhere, this gem of a collection offers a compelling synthesis of the poet’s thoughts on the natural, spiritual and artistic worlds . . . With each page, the book gains accumulative power. The various threads intertwine and become taut.”
– The New York Times
“There’s hardly a page in my copy of Upstream that isn’t folded down or underlined and scribbled on, so charged is Oliver’s language…I need a moment away from unceasing word drip of debates about the election, about whether Elena Ferrante has the right to privacy, about whether Bob Dylan writes ‘Literature.’ I need a moment, more than a moment, in the steady and profound company of Mary Oliver and I think you might need one too.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air