At Blackwater Pond

Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver
Narrated by: Mary Oliver
Length: 1 hr
4.8 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mary Oliver has published fifteen volumes of poetry and five books of prose in the span of four decades, but she rarely performs her poetry in live readings. Now, with the arrival of At Blackwater Pond, Mary Oliver has given her audience what they've longed to hear: the poet's voice reading her own work. In this beautifully produced audiobook, Mary Oliver has recorded forty of her favorite poems, nearly spanning the length of her career, from Dream Work through her newest volume, New and Selected Poems, Volume Two.

©2006 Mary Oliver (P)2011 Random House Audio

Featured Article: 10 Best Poetry Audiobooks for the Ultimate Lyrical Experience


It’s a common turn of phrase that poetry is meant to be heard. Tone, pauses, cadence, and inflections in the voice all serve to further the emotional pull of modern and historical poetic masterpieces. And now, with the rise of the audiobook format, poetry can be heard and enjoyed in the way they were meant to be. Taking into account not only the words themselves but the way they are spoken, our list provides a look at the power behind a poem.

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What listeners say about At Blackwater Pond

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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High Hopes

I have been a fan or really a lover of Mary Oliver's writing for as long as I can remember. I own most of her books in print and read them randomly and often. Oliver's words are powerful and through their deceptive simplicity and careful word choice convey deep meaning. Art in print for me.

Then recently I tried several radio play type of recordings from Audible--a new thing for me--and found that I enjoyed them very much. When I saw this collection of poetry--read by the author I was interested. I thought that it might be wonderful to hear the author read her own poems.

What I found was that voice recordings of poetry can be a wobbly thing. Much of the pleasure of reading poems--for me--comes from the ability to pause and think. Pace the words--putting stress on different lines in my mind. In short, the recorded version did not work for me. Thank goodness I own the book in print. Don't miss the poems but do listen to the sample first.

41 people found this helpful

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Plain Song

There is a delicacy to Mary Oliver's plain speaking which resonates well with the kernels of wisdom she so effortlessly conveys.

4 people found this helpful

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I love mary oliver so much

mary oliver reading some of her beloved poems, including "wild geese." This is a treat!

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding

Mary Oliver has created the space within these poems to stretch ones self into comfort.

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this poet shouldn't read own work

I love Mary Oliver's poetry and thought it would be wonderful to hear her read her own work. Unfortunately, I found her narration quite dry and I could not complete this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Inscription in Memory

If you could sum up At Blackwater Pond in three words, what would they be?

Eloquent, Thoughtful, Vivid

What other book might you compare At Blackwater Pond to and why?

Well I could list every book I ever read by Mary Oliver, which is lots, but this is the only I've read with my ears, and the ear bone is so old and wise. So nothing.

What about Mary Oliver’s performance did you like?

Her voice is like dripping nectar at times.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Hearing Wild Geese aloud made me forgive myself and loosen up any exterior standards I have, for I do not have to be good! The Buddha's Last Instruction had a similar release.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to this so many times, I know about half of it by memory, by a usually water logged memory.

2 people found this helpful

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Poetry of nature

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Stunningly beautiful poetry for any lover of great writing, but it certainly brings a unique depth to the experience that can only come with having spent some time on Earth.

2 people found this helpful

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beautiful

loved it, for the first time in a long time I feel like a kid seeing the world for the first time.

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More Heard Each Time

Mary Oliver’s work has grown on me with each ‘hearing.’ Every listen brings forward new nuances.

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Wonderful poet

What made the experience of listening to At Blackwater Pond the most enjoyable?

Great poetry read by the author. Best of all possible events.

What was one of the most memorable moments of At Blackwater Pond?

"Her grave" brought back memories of my favorite dog.

Which character – as performed by Mary Oliver – was your favorite?

No character were Involved.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

No film options come to mind

Any additional comments?

Poetry needs to be more available in audio books.

1 person found this helpful