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The Truro Bear and Other Adventures

We wait, not knowing 
just where it will happen; suddenly
they smash through the surface, someone begins shouting for joy and you realize it is yourself as they surge upward and you see for the first time how huge they are, as they breach, and dive, and breach again through the shining blue flowers of the split water and you see them for some unbelievable part of a moment against the sky -- like nothing you've ever imagined -- like the myth of the fifth morning galloping out of darkness, pouring heavenward, spinning...


The Truro Bear and Other Adventures
Poems and Essays
by Mary Oliver
Beacon Press, 2008

This book completes Mary Oliver's trilogy which began with Owls and Other Fantasies and Blue Iris, with ten new poems, thirty-five previously published poems, and two essays. All share the common theme of wild and domestic creatures in the natural world and our experience of them.

The title poem, The Truro Bear, first appeared in Twelve Moons in 1979. "There's a bear in the Truro woods. / People have seen it -- three or four, / or two or one" it begins and then considers the fantastic possibilities of a bear sighting where no bear has been for years. "Common sense mutters: / it can't be true, it must be somebody's / runaway dog. But the seed / has been planted, and when has happiness ever / required much evidence to begin / its leaf-green breathing?"

While this collection of the celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's work includes some fine pieces on moles and humpback whales and minks and turtlesand opossums, it also indulges in 13 poems about her dog, Percy, and doesn't venture far from where she's gone before.

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